Indian Railways is using biometrics to reduce and track unreserved passengers

Indian Railways is using biometrics to reduce and track unreserved passengers
TOI, BCCL, Mumbai

  • Indian Railways launched a biometric identification system to ensure ‘guaranteed seats’ in unreserved trains.
  • The passengers travelling in unreserved coaches will scan their fingerprints at the biometric system to get the token.
  • The Railways acquired four biometric machines as of now for two stations — Mumbai Central railway station and Bandra Terminus.
In a good news to train travellers, Indian Railways launched a biometric identification system. It will ensure ‘guaranteed seats’ to general passengers travelling in unreserved train coaches.

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The initiative launched by Western Railway division’s Mumbai Central railway station and Bandra Terminus aims to create a hassle-free experience for passengers and avoid mayhem at platforms at the time of boarding.

Biometrics have been tested first, on Pushpak Express between Mumbai and Lucknow.
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The Railways has been practicing biometrics for Amravati Express, Jaipur Superfast Express, Karnavati Express , Gujarat Mail, Golden Temple Mail, Paschim Express, Amaravati Express, Avadh Express, Maharashtra Sampark Kranti Express.

It plans on using the machines for long-distance trains as well.
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From now on, the passengers travelling in unreserved coaches will scan their fingerprints at the biometric system to get the token. The token-system will ensure that the number of passengers does not surpass the number of available seats.
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These tokens will be verified by the official staff (Railway Protection Force) on the platforms. Currently, people board trains in a disorderly manner, increasing the scope of accidents.

“This machine also captures images of passengers, eliminating the need for video recording of passengers boarding general class coaches,” Financial Express reported citing Ravinder Bhakar, CPRO of Western Railways.

The move will cut down on the malpractices for the sake of seat reservations. The authorities will also be able to identify thieves by tracking their fingerprints.
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The Railways acquired four biometric machines as of now. It is in the process of securing eight more for Ahmedabad and Mumbai divisions.

“Passengers are happy with the system as it is transparent. It also deters thieves who purchase unreserved tickets as it did not require them to give their personal details,” S R Gandhi, senior divisional security commissioner, Western Railways told The Hindu.

Indian Railways has been pushing for a more passenger-friendly experience. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) introduced a ‘Vikalp Scheme’ for the passengers who have been on the waiting list to get their tickets confirmed.
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See also:
Indian Railway’s vikalp scheme allows passengers to board an alternate train — and avoid the waiting list

Indian Railways is on an aggressive recruitment drive to hire 300,000

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