The card is smart but those who cannot use it in 6 months have to renew it by paying Rs.50 and there lies the catch with Indian Railways Smart Card in an Internet and Smartphone age.
Otherwise, the “Go-India” smart card scheme launched on pilot basis on two sectors — New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Howrah — enables passengers to pay for reserved and unreserved tickets.
The smart card can be used at Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)/Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and at Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) on these two sectors for issuing tickets.
Its key features include:
· The card can be bought by paying Rs.70/ minimum and the passenger will get Rs.20/ in his balance. The card can be recharged in multiples of Rs.20/- , Rs.50/- or up to Rs. 5000/-.
· Maximum limit on Go-India smart card is Rs.10,000/-.
· Go-India smart card has life time validity but in case of no usage in 6 months from the date of last transaction, smart card will be temporarily deactivated and the buyer has to pay Rs.50 again to activate it again and this is non-refundable activation fee.
The ministry says the scheme is intended to reduce the transaction time at the booking counters for the convenience of passengers as it facilitates cashless transaction. In an internet and smartphone age, its utility still smacks of old-time practices.
In fact, the card should have been introduced in metros and city transportation for daily passengers.
It is still not known whether the scheme will continue or not as it is in pilot stage and final approval will be known after the evaluation.