Thursday, January 31, 2008

Touch screens add to chaos at Cantt station

Touch screens add to chaos at Cantt station
Thursday January 31 2008 09:58 IST

Nandini Chandrashekar

HURRY! GEMS Portfolio closing on 15th Feb'08

BANGALORE: Is technology the solution to all problems?

Well the Railways certainly seem to think so. Take the age-old complaint of lack of an enquiry counter at the Cantonment railway station.

Modern day amenities being planned for this station do not include a simple manned enquiry counter. The logic behind this according to railway officials, is the installation of touch screen enquiry counters.

A question remains: What of an illiterate person or someone not well versed in technology to use this for information.

A cursory glance at the reservation counters reveal that people flock to the counters to enquire about trains and a small percentage use the interactive panels for information.

Railway officials have an explanation for this well. That their online systems are integrated so well, that the person behind an enquiry counter will not have access to on-the-spot information that the interactive kiosks will have, since they are updated constantly.

Then maybe the officials would care to explain how a fight erupted at Cantonment station recently because the touch screen enquiry for a particular train showed that tickets were available, when in reality, it was already on the waiting list.

In addition, one touch screen counter is already non functional, due to irregular power supply. This station has been earmarked to be developed as a model railway station, but the ongoing renovation work is taking its own sweet time.

The new building which is supposed to have more reservation counters has people commissioned for the job, but the building is a long way from being complete.

A separate platform is also ready, so that three trains, Prashanti Express, Kachiguda Express and Kochuveli Express can start from Cantonment station and ease the burden off the City station. But that is still some way off as the water hydrants are not yet ready.

The starting of Kochuveli Express from Cantonment will be welcomed by the many travellers who still throng this station without realising that it is not scheduled for a stop.

No action has been taken on repeated requests from people, since the next stop for this train after the City station is Salem.

Sources say that South Western Railways are not eager to pursue the matter of an additional stop as this train is run by Southern Railways.


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