Initially, the service will be made available only for passengers at the New Delhi railway station. Registered porters at the railway station, who number more than 1,000, will soon become part of an online database, from where they would be assigned to passengers
New Delhi: Travelling heavy becomes a major hassle when you have to hire a porter at a railway station to carry your luggage till the coach. The biggest problem is haggling over the payment.
All this may soon be a thing of the past — at least at the New Delhi Railway Station.
Porters, who have been rechristened as sahayaksfrom the colonial ‘coolie’, may soon go online with passengers being able to book a porter through a mobile-based application at the New Delhi Railway Station.
Registered porters at the railway station, who number more than 1,000, will soon become part of an online database, from where they would be assigned to passengers who request for their services through the application.
“Passengers would be able to book sahayaksthrough the mobile app that will become operational from the New Delhi Railway Station,” said Arun Arora, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi.
“The mobile-based application is being developed by CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems),” Mr. Arora added.
CRIS is the Information Technology arm of the Ministry of Railways and has been at the forefront of developing many IT-enabled services for Railways.
Senior officials of the CRIS, however, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
According to sources, passengers would not only be able to book porters through the soon-to-be-launched app, but also book wheelchairs with helpers at the New Delhi Railway Station.
“All the sahayaks , along with their mobile numbers and badge numbers, will be registered on the database.
When a passenger books a porter from his or her mobile phone, they will receive his mobile number and badge number,” said a senior railway official who did not wish to be named.
“The passenger can contact the sahayak and tie-up with him to meet at a designated spot. We are also trying to come up with a mechanism through which passengers can make payments online,” he said.
The mobile application would also have the option of registering complaints by mentioning the porter’s badge number.
The mobile-based application is expected to be launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
If the pilot project turns out to be successful, the model will be replicated at other railway stations across the country.
If successful, the model will be replicated at other railway stations across the country