ISRO goes local

The G-SAT 10 will make queues at railway stations redundant and leave paper in plenty

India’s space research agency is in the midst of making commuting on the Western Railway in Mumbai easier. After July 8 when Railways minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the UTSonMobile system an app that lets commuters book unreserved tickets on the suburban network without having to stand in queue - the Rs 750 crore G-SAT 10 communication satellite is being used to make the reservation process an accurate and effortless one.

Pic/Nimesh Dave
Pic/Nimesh Dave

Besides, it's environment friendly because it ensures paperless ticketing. It has far better resolution when it comes to identifying and pinpointing the location of a particular mobile phone device being used for booking a local train ticket between Churchgate and Dahanu. "It can provide the precise location of the mobile phone user who is using the app," said a senior WR official.

The G-SAT 10's strong firewall identifies the location of the cell phone user allowing the user to stay within 30 metres outside the outer tracks up to a maximum of 2 kilometres. The 30 metre distance is to ensure that commuters don't decide to generate a ticket on seeing a ticket collector or after entering a train compartment.

"Since its launch, 1.30 lakh people have downloaded the app and on an average, 550 tickets are generated daily," said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, Western Railway. The authorities agreed that the number is low and hope it will pick up when it becomes available to both Android and iOS users.

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