The Railway Budget for 2015-16 has announced extending Wi-Fi facility to all ‘B’ category stations in the country.
This will cover 17 new stations across South Western Railway in the State spread over Bengaluru, Mysuru and Hubbali divisions.
The ‘B’ category stations are Bagalkot, Gadag, Koppal, Londa and Tornagally in Hubballi division, Banasawadi, Hindupur, Hosur, Mandya, Tumakuru and Yelahanka in Bengaluru division and Arsikere, Bhadrawathi, Birur, Harihar, Haveri and Hassan in the Mysuru division.
The facility already exists or is in the process of being extended to all ‘A1’ and ‘A’ category stations and the budget proposes to provide the same facility to all ‘B’ category stations as well.
There are 2 A1 category stations in the SWR jurisdiction (Bengaluru and Yeshwanthpur) while Hubballi, Belagavi, Ballari, Vijayapura, Dharwad, Hospet and Vasco-da-Gama are ‘A’ category stations in the Hubballi division. Likewise, Bengaluru Cantt, Bangarpet, Kengeri, Krishnarajapuam and SSP Nilayam are the ‘A’ category stations in the Bengaluru division while Mysuru, Davangere and Shivamogga Town are the ‘A’ category stations in the Mysuru division.
Incidentally, Mysuru division experimented with Wi-Fi five years ago and the country’s first Wi-Fi facility at a railway station under PPP model was launched in 2010 at the Mysuru station. Mysuru was identified for the project in view of its tourist importance. The contract was given to a private vendor on an experimental basis for one year but there were not many users and hence the concept failed to click and is now dysfunctional.
Officials in the Mysuru Division said Wi-Fi facility announced in the budget will be provided through Railtel Corporation of India Ltd.