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Free Wi-Fi draws youth to Vizag railway station


Free Wi-Fi draws youth to Vizag railway station
According to Railtel, about 700 people are using the free Wi-Fi facility every day. (Representational image)

Visakhapatnam: Of late, many people visiting the railway station have nothing to do either with the trains or the passengers. Some people, mostly youngsters, are thronging the railway station just to enjoy the high-speed free Wi-Fi facility.

Some youngsters carrying platform tickets are seen busy surfing internet on phones. According to sources, many come to download songs, videos or upgrade software versions.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel said after the launch of Wi-Fi facility, many youths started thronging the railway station. “We observed they are not coming to catch any trains but only to surf the Internet. We caught some of them entering the station without a platform ticket as we can not take action against them based on using Internet facility.”

“Now, all are coming with platform tickets and citing different reasons for waiting at the station during interrogation. We also don’t know how to check this,” he added.

The facility was launched at the city station on May 20 by Railtel,  in collaboration with Google, to provide Internet facility to passengers travelling and waiting at the railway station, as part of Digital India initiative. The facility has become a boon for passengers but one of the disadvantages is it is drawing non-travelling people.

Railtel deputy manager (Vizag) Chaitanya said on an average, 700 people are logging in everyday for the Wi-Fi facility at the city station.

The free Wi-Fi is limited only for 30 minutes. Smart phone users just need to log in with a phone number which receives a onetime password to be used for the service. Hence, people are using different phone numbers and enjoying the service.

When asked about misuse of the facility, Mr Chaitanya said they can check free time limitation or people logging in with numerous number only after consultation with Google representatives and other stakeholders.

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