New Delhi: Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that RailTel has done a remarkable job by connecting every nook and corner of the country to the world wide web through Wi-Fi service on over 5,400 railway stations. Goyal was speaking on the occasion of the 20th Foundation Day of RailTel.
Addressing the gathering through video conferencing, Goyal congratulated the PSU for its glorious journey. Goyal said that RailTel is truly a millennial PSU with a short history behind and a long future ahead. Now that RailTel is coming of age, it needs to aim for greater heights and become a Rs 10,000-crore company in the coming years.
‘RailTel making stations hubs of digital transformation via WiFi’
Praising the station Wi-Fi project of the public sector company, Goyal said that the Wi-Fi at over 5,400 stations will help in making Railway stations hubs of digital transformation. Around 1.5 crore people are using Wi-Fi in a month. Goyal also shared some heartwarming stories of station Wi-Fi helping people in achieving their dream. Goyal shared a story of a porter in Kerala who used this Wi-Fi facility to study and clear Kerala Service Commission exam and Soni Sahu, a farmer, who is learning new techniques of farming using station Wi-Fi to increase productivity.
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‘Next milestone should be to bring WiFi to rural population’
Minister of State of Railways Suresh C Angadi said that the company started as a Rs 15-crore company and now it is an over Rs 1,000-crore company. Angadi congratulated RailTel for connecting more than 5,400 stations to Wi-Fi in such a short time. Angadi also asked the CMD to expeditiously connect gram panchayats under Bharatnet to bring Wi-Fi to the rural population.
‘RailTel has been a debt-free PSU’
In his welcome address, the CPSE’s CMD Puneet Chawla stressed on the fact that RailTel is one of the very few consistently profit-making, dividend-paying, debt-free telecom PSUs despite tough competition in the market. In the last financial year, RailTel achieved Rs 1,017-crore turnover, with an operating margin of Rs 184 crore.
Chawla spoke about some of the ongoing and new projects of RailTel, like station Wi-Fi project, Railwire Saathi, NIC e-office, Video Surveillance system, Modern Train Control system etc. He also announced that RailTel has successfully started executing Railwire Saathi project to carryout assisted internet usage and to develop rural entrepreneurs–who will man Railwire Saathi kiosks at stations to extend various online e-governance services of Government of India to rural population. The kiosks will be set up at 200 stations as a pilot project.
The programme concluded with the award presentation ceremony felicitating the outstanding achievers (individual and team) of RailTel.