Paperless Ticket on CR/WR lines hit with geo-mapping hurdles

Mumbai SuburbanMumbai: The wait for the paperless ticket feature via railways’ UTS mobile application is not over yet. Officials said the geo-mapping required for stations on mainline, Harbour and Trans-Harbour is proving to be more difficult than expected.

Around 45 lakh commuters on Central Railway (CR) were to be benefited by the launch of the application. The same feature in the application was launched for the Western Railway (WR) on July 8 by Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu. The feature enables booking of unreserved tickets within a distance of 30m to 2 km from any station. The application has been live on WR since with over 1 lakh downloads and railway officials had hoped that the same system would be launched on the CR in the first week of August as well.

However, officials said that the ISRO technology that is being used for geo-mapping the station has been difficult. The problem is that the satellite is getting confused as many stations on CR’s mainline and Harbour are parallel and within a distance of 2 km. “On the WR, the line is straight and there is no criss-crossing of lines within 2 km and so the stations could be mapped clearly. On the other hand, there are common stations on CR’s mainline and Harbour line such as Sandhurst Road, Masjid. The distances between stations such as Parel and Sewri are very short and so the satellite is not able to clearly map the stations. This is important to establish the station from where a commuter boards the train but the data is getting blurred due to the proximity of stations,” said the official.

The CR, which has denser commuter traffic per day than WR (35 lakh) and is split into three lines or networks, is proving to be very difficult to compute in the system. This will mean that CR commuters who have been waiting for the technology may not be so happy after all.