RailTel's wi-fi facility at stations helped over 1,000 passengers on board the Guwahati Express and the Guwahati-Silchar Express trains, who were stuck in the flood-hit areas of Assam.
While the mobile network was completely broken down, RailTel made special arrangements to provide communication using station wi-fi to the stranded passengers of the two trains stuck on the Lumding-Badarpur hill section of Assam, The Print reported.
Last week, heavy rains led to a total breakdown of mobile services of all operators in the affected area, which falls under the Lumding railway division of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).
With this special arrangement, the passengers could communicate with their families. In addition, the railway administration used this connectivity facility to organise the relief-and-rescue operation effectively.
Heavy Rains Stranded Two Trains
Incessant rain and inclement weather caused massive landslides and waterlogging at many places in the Lumding-Badarpur hill section, which damaged the railway track, bridges, road and communication network in the hilly terrain.
Due to the severe condition, the NFR zone had geared up its entire machinery and controlled train services over the affected section. However, two trains got stranded in the flash floods, each with nearly 1,400 passengers.
The railway administration launched a massive evacuation operation with the help of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Air Force, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Assam Rifles and locals.
But another challenge was the total breakdown of mobile networks of all operators in the affected area, which left passengers and the railway administration isolated.
Special Arrangement For Passengers To Use Station Wi-Fi
"In this tough situation, the wi-fi facility provided by RailTel Corporation proved very helpful in providing connectivity. Special arrangements were made for passengers to use station wi-fi to contact their kins," the company said.
"The railway administration also used this facility for organising the relief-and-rescue operation effectively. This special arrangement was made by temporarily suspending the requirement of OTP on the user's mobile phone, as required under the standard procedure for authentication purpose as mobile services were down in that area," it added.
This connectivity was provided at Ditokcherra, New Harangajao, New Haflong, all in the Dima Hasao district, and at Damcherra in the Cachar district, falling under the Lumding division of the NFR.