The above photograph is a image of the Railways indicator in Mumbai which states that 11.06 Virar slow is coming in 03 minutes. Despite growing in leaps and bounds in the technology sector, we are seeing this archaic signages through out Mumbai, a financial capital of India. The technology industry is growing at a rate of 20 % in India since 2000, but what is the use of the growth to ordinary Indians.
This sign in Mumbai at least has a light to it but just step outside Mumbai and you will know what I am talking about. There is a talk of India becoming next tech giant but where are the ground results of this technology. It would seem really silly for a country whose technology sector has companies like Infosys, TCS, HCL Tech, Wipro and host of others who are running high value technological programs overseas but are giving so little back to India. The combined revenues of these IT giants from overseas deployment is estimated to be $88 billion in FT 2013-14.
Despite such a immense growth, what we are seeing is that the trickle down effect of technology in Mumbai and India is very poor.
This is a arrival departure board of outstation trains at Mumbai Victoria Terminus. The situation is same. It is a humble question from me to the Indian Authorities as well as the tech giants of India, why can't we implement some kind of technologically superior indicators in India.
At least in the above images you see the visuals working, many a times the signs don't work. If they work, then also there are still instances of a select train entering a different platform than one indicated. The Public Address system of Indian Railways is so vintage, it can be sold at 'Christies' for a premium. Anyways they ought to sell it because the sound coming from the PA system is so shrill that rather than hear the announcement, you tend to cover your ears.
The indicators and the PA system are linked directly to the accidents that happen on the Railway tracks. But no one seems to care. India lost about 15000 people in railway track related deaths with nearly 4000 of them in Mumbai. The deaths in Mumbai are more related to overcrowding.
There are simple answers for undoing the mess that the Railway indicators and PA systems are. First, the Railways ought to give a contract to run the system to one of the top tech companies, who can than implement a complete system overhaul with the help of computers. The system should be so developed that the Train details are given correctly at any given time and people may also be informed of next incoming train on a map type indicator. There should be complete automisation of the rail routes with minimum human interference. This will automatically bring down some of the deaths on Indian tracks.
The Public Address system must be rehauled with completed automation of the address system. This will not only help the Railways save money on employment of various PA system announcers but also reduce the mistakes they do. The Speakers should not be shrill but actually pleasant to listen to.
Then perhaps one day we can say that the technological gains have penetrated the to the very bottom of Indian pyramid. If you like my views on the happenings in India please click here to read more of my articles.
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