According to a PIB release, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha recently, KH Muniyappa, Minister of State for Railways mentioned that two mobile ticketing vans have been introduced in January 2010 – one each in Delhi and Kolkata on pilot project basis. The revenue earned up to April 15, 2010 since the launch of two pilot projects for Kolkata is Rs 24, 95,409 and for New Delhi – Rs 13, 62,658.
The Indian Railways has also proposed to introduce mobile ticketing vans for issuing reserved and unreserved tickets in both urban and rural areas. These being pilot projects, the Indian Railways have used departmental vehicles and hired vehicles to serve the locations within the cities for checking telecom connectivity. Actual costs have not yet been worked out. These costs will include cost of hiring of vehicles, the cost of providing connectivity through V-SAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) equipment in mobile vans deployed in rural areas where connectivity through GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service) service provider may not work. This will also include the recurring cost of deployment of staff, payment of allowances, cost of generator, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) etc. It would become possible to accurately determine these costs only after the scheme becomes fully operational.
Furthermore, Muniyappa stated that Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has also planned to operate monthly tour packages covering important Buddhist Pilgrimage destinations such as Nagarjuna Konda, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Sravasti, Sanchi, Kushinagar, Rajgir, Bodhgaya, etc. on demand basis. Presently, two rail tour packages are operated by IRCTC in Orissa covering Buddhist pilgrim destinations, like Dhaulagiri, Khandagiri, Udaygiri, Lalitgiri and Ratnagiri. These packages are offered through regular train service.
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