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The Indian Railways can use automatic railway track cleaning systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) with multiple sensors to monitor employees and tracks, drones to monitor and scan tracks for faults and pilferage, and prevent potential  derailments. Photo: Mint
The Indian Railways can use automatic railway track cleaning systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) with multiple sensors to monitor employees and tracks, drones to monitor and scan tracks for faults and pilferage, and prevent potential derailments. Photo: Mint

Opinion | Back on track?

The economy is suffering and all activity needs to scale up so that economic losses can be contained. Getting India’s transport systems back in action is crucial to this effort

Railways minister Piyush Goyal has reportedly said that more trains will be added to take India towards normalcy. Earlier this week, the railways had announced 200 more trains starting 1 June. Although Goyal didn’t specify as much, the indication seems to be that trains in addition to these are being planned. New announcements, when they come, would clarify this, but broadly, restoring normalcy as far and as fast as possible should be the way forward.

The economy is suffering and all activity needs to scale up so that economic losses can be contained. Getting India’s transport systems back in action is crucial to this effort. While technology can help bring people together virtually, it can’t altogether eliminate the need for travel, without which businesses will find it hard to operate efficiently. We also have a humanitarian crisis on hand. Political punches are being exchanged over the provision of bus services to take migrant workers home. Yet, there just aren’t enough buses to meet a surge in would-be passengers, it seems. Trains have the capacity to fulfil unmet demand, and the earlier they do, the sooner the misery of thousands will end.

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