In addition to the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, the Indian Railways will install global positioning system (GPS) in wagons to ensure real-time tracking and preventing artificial shortage, a report said on February 23.
The installation of RFID tags, which picked up pace in 2020 and is expected to cover all wagons by December 2022, have details related to the rolling stock. This, combined with the GPS that is planned to be installed, will lead to optimum utilisation and minimise the possibility of an artificial shortage, sources privy to the development told The Times of India.
“The combination of GPS and RFID will serve a greater purpose. As all the data will be available at central level and also at zonal level, there will be efficient utilisation of the stock that we have," the newspaper quoted an official as saying.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the development.
The installation of GPS in wagons would require an investment of around Rs 600 crore, the sources who spoke to TOI reportedly added.
They also noted that the government will move ahead with the plan to increase the size of current wagon fleet, but at the same time, the decision to install GPS will be taken to use the available wagons efficiently.
The Railways will add around 35,000 wagons by the year-end, and nearly one lakh in the next three years, as per the procurement target it has set, the report said. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had recently told the publication that the government was confident of crossing the freight loading target of 1,475 million in the next financial year.
According to the Railway's National Rail Plan (NRP), which lays out broader targets aimed to be achieved by 2030, the freight ecosystem is expected to grow from the present level of 4,700 MT to 8,200 MT.