Passengers in 200 railway stations across India will soon be able to recharge their mobiles, pay electricity bills, fill up Aadhaar and Pan card forms and even file taxes with help from Common Service Centre (CSC) kiosks to be set up by RailTel.
The scheme has been operationalised in partnership with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited' (CSC-SPV) and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, RailTel said in a statement.
The kiosks will be run by village level entrepreneurs (VLEs).
"The services offered by CSC include booking of the travelling tickets (train, air, bus etc.), Aadhar card, voter card, mobile recharge, electricity bill payment, Pan card, Income Tax, banking, insurance and many more," the statement said.
The kiosks have been named 'RailWire Saathi Kiosks' -- RailWire is the brand name of RailTel's retail broadband service.
To begin with, the RailWire Saathi CSC kiosks at the Varanasi City and Prayagraj City stations in Uttar Pradesh have been made operational on a pilot basis.
Similar kiosks will be operationalised at around 200 railway stations, mostly in rural areas, in phases, the statement said.
Of these, 44 are in South Central Railway zone, 20 are in North Frontier Railway, 13 are in East Central Railway, 15 are in Western Railway, 25 are in Northern Railway, 12 are in West Central Railway, 13 are in East Coast Railway and 56 are in North Eastern Railway.
"People in rural areas often find it difficult to avail various e-governance service or take advantage of digitalization due to lack of infrastructure/resources as well as lack of knowledge using internet.
"These RailWire Saathi kiosks will bring these essential digital services at rural railway stations to support rural population," said RailTel CMD Puneet Chawla.
RailTel has created one of the largest integrated wi-fi tetworks of the world by providing public wi-fi (under the brand name 'RailWire') at 6,090 stations; 5,000 of these are in rural areas.
Utilising this existing infrastructure at stations, RailTel, in partnership with CSC, plans to deliver broadband services to rural areas, it said.
Photograph: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo