Hyderabad: Around 427 railways stations are now equipped with Wi-Fi facility at a cost of Rs. 6.5 crore, said Railway officials after Railways minister Piyush Goyal laid the foundation stone for various developmental activities on 18 February.

The Railway officials said that the task of extending free high-speed Wi-Fi over the entire zone was taken up on a war-footing by commissioning the facility at 576 stations, including 170 stations in Telangana and 293 in Andhra Pradesh. Out of these 463 stations, 36 were already equipped with Wi-Fi. The facility was provided to the remaining 427 stations at a cost of Rs. 6.5 crore.

The south central Railways introduced free high-speed wifi at Secunderabad station in December 2016. Secunderabad is in fourth position among other stations with regard to usage of internet data by rail users through the free Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi facility over SCR is being provided by Rail Tel in collaboration with Google Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) and the Tata Trust. On an average, about 19.5 lakh users logged in every month at these railway stations.

Mr Goyal, on Tuesday, laid the foundation stone for the development of a satellite terminal at Cherlapally station. In order to decongest the existing major rail terminals, Secunderabad, Kacheguda, and Hyderabad, the Railway board sanctioned the project in 2016-17 at an estimated cost of Rs. 221 crore. Cherlapally is centrally-located and surrounded by residential areas with a huge population density. The station is directly connected with the Outer Ring Road and is convenient for both public and private transport.

There is also a proposal to operate private train services directly from this terminal. Tenders are finalised for an amount of Rs. 117.25 crore and works will commence shortly, according to the Railway officials. Also, a foundation stone was laid for the electrification of Yerraguntla-Nandyal section and Guntakal-Kalluru section.

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