GUWAHATI, Jan 17 - Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway is looking to expand usage of the recently introduced Hand Held Terminal (HHT) device to all trains operated by the zone by the end of this year.
NFR had introduced HHTs, a tablet device, last month with a view to bringing in greater transparency in the ticket checking system on trains.
“Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has personally given a lot of thrust on increasing the use and scope of HHTs. So far, in the NFR zone, we have introduced HHTs in the Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express. We are getting good feedback from both our staff as well as commuters following introduction of HHTs. The plan is now to provide HHTs to onboard Train Ticket Examiners (TTEs) in all trains having reserved coaches. We hope to complete the exercise by end of 2019,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer of NFR, told The Assam Tribune today.
He added, “Presently, 30 sets of HHTs have been supplied by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) to the NFR. Of these, 18 sets are for Tinsukia division, nine for Lumding division and three are for Katihar division.”
CRIS designs, develops, implements and maintains most of the important information systems of Indian Railways.
“The HHT device can download source charts, current booking list and charts of remote locations on train through GPRS. It downloads list of after-charting cancelled passengers every hour from departure time and there is provision to mark attendance of passengers in any coach. Besides, it allows for status upgrade and alternate berth allotment. It replaces paper charts with e-charts and enables computerisation of onboard passenger interface operations,” Sharma said.
HHTs are now being used in the 12423/12424 and the 20505/20506 Dibrugarh-New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express trains, the 12087/12088 Guwahati-Naharlagun-Guwahati Shatabdi Express and the 12042/12041 New Jalpaiguri-Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Shatabdi Express.
Each tablet device costs around Rs 25,000. “It allows the TTEs of a running train to send real-time information to the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) through GPRS which facilitates allotment of the vacant berth to wait-listed passengers on subsequent stations. It, thus, increases the chances of waitlisted and RAC ticket holders getting confirmed berths,” Sharma said.
He said that with the help of HHTs, vacant berth positions can be sent back to HHT Application Servers once allotment is done and can be viewed on the PRS terminal as well as website of the Railways.
Information of all wait-listed passengers can be sent to coaching refund system to get speedier refund and eliminate the preparation of manual Exception Data Reports (EDR).
“Occupancy chart can be viewed on the HHT device to dispense with the manual preparation of food chart and occupancy chart. This helps the Railways to better utilise its capacity in case a passenger fails to board the train or cancel his or her ticket before preparation of the chart. The initiative is environment-friendly and saves paper which is presently being used for chart printing at every location. It also saves manpower,” said the NFR CPRO.
Use of the device also dispenses with the need to hand over manually printed passenger chart to the next batch of TTEs of a running train, he added.