India’s public transporter Indian Railways have matched with the changing times in view of the Covid-19 pandemic as the North Central Railway (NCR) has developed contactless ticket checking with airport like check-in facilities for the passengers travelling.
A Railway Ministry official in Delhi said that the NCR has implemented contactless ticket checking with airport-like check-in facilities at Prayagraj railway station. As part of the initiative, passengers who arrive at the Prayagraj station are first taken to a boarding hall with four new check-in counters.
He said that to save the railway staff from getting infected by coming in direct contact with the passengers, airport-like check-in counters have been set up at Prayagraj railway station. He said that these counters have been made to minimise the exposure of the checking staff with the passengers.
The official said these counters are fully contactless. The passenger side and the ticket checker side are physically separated through a glass partition on the wall of the counter. He said that tickets and passenger’s identity cards are checked using a webcam connected to a computer available with the ticket checking staff.
“For communication between the passenger and the ticket checking staff, microphone and speakers are provided on both sides, physically separated through the glass partition wall of the counter,” the official said.
The official further elaborated that this technology not only ensures contactless ticket checking to safeguard passengers and railway staff, but also helps in identifying vacant berths in a train which are then relayed to the next station for better availability of berth to passengers. He said that as passengers enter the station premises, the QR code on the ticket will be scanned through a mobile app and this gets updated in the software’s database. The time of scanning the QR code also gets updated in the application. The passenger can even print the tickets using the QR code. The newly developed system has been in place at the Prayagraj Junction station since June 1.
The official said that now QR code generation is universalised by CRIS and with any reserved ticket booking. He said that the SMS will contain the URL of QR and clicking on URL will open QR code on the mobile browser. For better manpower management, a dashboard has been installed to know the number of the expected passengers for boarding at any time. This helps to deploy a suitable number of checking staff.
The Indian Railways, which suspended the passenger, mail and express train services in view of the nationwide lockdown from March 25, has started to run 15 pairs of Special AC trains from May 12, and 100 pairs of Special time table since June 1.