In November, CR installed 7 LCD screens to beam programming but defunct technology has rendered them useless; now before installing 7 more, they're trying to repair the glitch

When the Central Railway (CR) first installed LCD televisions in its locals in November last year to entertain suburban train commuters during the dreary travel hours, its initiative was hailed as refreshing. But two months after the idea was put to test with seven screens to begin with, it appears that it has bombed.

Off-beam: The 7 TV sets installed in the locals do not beam real-time
programming like news and sports properly and only ads and a few
public messages can be played on them. File pic

The specialised TVs, installed at a cost of Rs 6 lakh, are lying switched off because the sets do not work.
The railway authorities are now trying to salvage the situation. After realising that poor reception has rendered the TVs as good as non-operational, the CR is working on improving the technology and installing seven more TVs at the same cost.

"We are working on improving its technology in a way that it could at least beam programmes in real time," said a CR official on the condition of anonymity. The authorities are trying to synchronise the TVs with satellite and enable its smooth functioning.

Currently, the sets do not properly beam any programmes, and only ads and a few public messages can be played on a loop.

The authorities intend to show updated news, sports and other entertainment programmes.

In all, 24 TV sets are to be installed as per the CR plan, including the seven already present and another seven in the process of being procured. Some of the units to house the screens yet to be procured are already mounted and the cabling is also in place: just the TVs are missing.

But CR authorities claim the televisions have been working perfectly and that non-working sets are a one-off case. "There is no operational problem in the working of the TV. One of the sets might be defective and we will rectify the glitch," said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, CR. Officials claimed they are earning an annual revenue of Rs 6 lakh from each of the seven TVs currently installed.

The Western Railway, taking its lessons from the flop idea, is treading cautiously. "We are in the process of calling tenders for installing these TVs in local trains," said S Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.