The upcoming Railway Budget is likely to provide for enhanced use of information technology to drive efficiency, bring transparency in operations and provide safety to passengers, especially women.

The report quoted a Railway ministry official as saying that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed officials to utilise information technology effectively to improve services.

One of the key proposals being talked about is tracking wagons, coaches and locomotives using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, reports PTI. 

The ministry official said that by using RFID devices, it will easy for Railways to accurately locate coaches, wagons and locomotives, and the fuel position. The current system of maintaining these data manually leaves room for inacuracy.

Suresh Prabhu

WiFi facility, which is currently available at New Delhi station, will be extended to many railway stations.

There is also a proposal to enhance safety for women passengers, by installing CCTV cameras in ladies' coaches and an app to improve their security.

Indian Railways
Porters transport goods on a hand-pulled trolley to load onto a train at a railway station in Kolkata July 8, 2014. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government disappointed markets with its first major economic policy statement on Tuesday, promising to seek foreign and private funding for the railways but giving no details of how it would lure investors. India's state-owned railways are the fourth-largest in the world. They have suffered from years of low investment and populist policies that have kept fares low.Reuters

The Rail Budget could also carry a proposal for digitised land mapping to enable commercial utilisation of vacant land.

The Budget is also likely to provide for shifting from periodic maintenance to predictive maintenance of rolling stock with the use of information technology, the official added.

The Budget is also expected to draw out plans for e-procurement and e-payment, keeping in line with the ministry's bid to promote e-governance.