Live Television in Shatabdis soon

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Passengers on select Shatabdi trains operating from here will soon be able to watch their favourite programmes on live television while onboard.

Aimed at providing infotainment to passengers free of cost, the Northern Railway has decided to install LCD television screens behind seats that will stream entertainment and news channels live.

While the Delhi Division of Northern Railway had conducted a pilot project on Kalka Shatabdi three years ago, the authorities have now decided to introduce the facility in the Amritsar and Kalka Shatabdis on a permanent basis.

The project will be implemented on a Public-Private-Partnership model, for which tenders have been floated. Officials said three companies have submitted bids for the same. “The Delhi Division had floated a tender. The project will be implemented after assessing the technical and financial viability as per the bids,” said Northern Railway spokesperson Neeraj Sharma.

An eight-inch LCD TV screen will be installed behind every seat in the two Shatabdi trains operating from the Capital. “The service provider is likely to beam around 80 channels on these screens,” said a senior Northern Railway official.

The service provider will be allowed to air advertisements during 20 per cent of the travelling time for revenue generation as the railways, for now, will not charge the passengers for the facility.

Sources said the project will cost the service provider Rs.5 crore to Rs.6 crore per train. The Shatabdis, on an average, have 900-1,000 seats, depending on the number of coaches attached to the train.

While officials claim it will take five to six months to implement the project once the tender is allotted, attempts to implement the project in the past after the trial run three years ago failed to kick off due to differences between two railway departments.

“There were some differences between the technical and commercial department over who will monitor the project. However, such differences have been ironed out this time,” an official added.