The Indian Railways has implemented an app-based monitoring system to make sure the escalators are operational and are fixed in a matter of minutes in the event of a problem, officials familiar with the development said on Thursday. This step is aimed at preventing crowding and inconvenience to passengers at platforms.
The action was taken in response to the national transporters' internal assessment, which found that at least 1.5 million complaints per year were made about broken escalators alone.
The system has been implemented on a pilot basis at a few zones– Central, Western, and Northern Railways.
“On average, at least ten daily complaints are received on issues with the escalators. It is not economical for us to depute an individual operator for each escalator and lift, hence we have come up with this app-based system,” a Central Railways official said.
Escalator malfunctions cause hardship for commuters on trains. According to a second official, the Mumbai Division of Central Railway has implemented a web and mobile app-based escalator monitoring system to solve this problem. By doing this, the operator is only required to concentrate on non-functioning assets, which also saves labour.
Stating the advantages of the monitoring system, an official from Northern Railways said, “Minute-to-minute digital record of every escalator is available after introducing this system. It also generates a warning, if the escalator is overdue for scheduled maintenance.”
According to him, the technology enables access to the executive summary, which enables higher authorities to examine the performance.
“It will also bring in a huge reduction in expenditure on contractual operators,” said the official.
According to a Western Railways representative, a controller seated in the Centralised Control Room may easily watch all 100% of the division's escalators using a dashboard with a birds-eye view.
The system will display a red signal and voice alert when an escalator stops functioning.
“On maps at the stations, escalators are shown as per their geographical location, and they blink green or red as per their working/ non-working status. Moreover, audio and visual alarm makes it impossible for any alert message to escape the sight of a controller,” the official concluded.
Image source: Hindustan Times