Railways to introduce trolleys at stations

Indian Railways will introduce airport-style trolleys at important stations for the benefit of senior citizens and women passengers.

This was announced by railway minister Mamata Banerjee in her budget speech Wednesday.

Banerjee said: “Railways propose to introduce modern trolleys at all important stations which will be handled by uniformed attendants to assist senior citizens and women passengers.”

At present passengers either use coolies (porters) to carry their luggage or use luggage that they can wheel themselves.

Dish TV in talks with rlys to beam live services in trains

Chandigarh: Dish TV, the direct-to-home broadcast vehicle of Subhash Chandra’s Zee Network, is in talks with the Indian Railways to launch live television services in trains. Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV, who was in Chandigarh to announce a free recharge offer, said, “The tender has been issued by the Railways and we intend to submit our bid. Initially one train will be made available for testing the product and we are hopeful of being awarded the contract.”

Dish TV has also extended its Live TV services to private cars and buses. Kapoor added, “A private bus operator has started using this service in Delhi. Discussions are on with few other operators.” Kapoor also said that Dish TV has registered an increase of 33% in sales this year with the subscriber base crossing 4.8 million. “We are targeting the 5-million subscription mark (translating into 25 million viewers) by end of this fiscal and the 8-million mark by end of next financial year. The turnover is expected to be around Rs 900-1,000 crore by March 31, 2008.”

Despite the overall gloom and the increase in competition, Dish TV has been able to hold its own. The competition, Kapoor said, has helped expand the market. “If in June-July about 6 lakh DTH subscribers were added per month, the number grew to around one million new subscribers between October-December. The new entrants in the DTH space have expanded the market size. We are also planning to launch our Digital Video Recording box soon,” he added.

Under Dish TV’s free recharge offer, if a customer recharges for a certain amount, she gets an equivalent amount of recharge as bonus. In other words, the recharge becomes completely free.

Dish TV has also introduced Recharge-free ItzCash (ItzCash is a multi-purpose pre-paid card that enables consumers to shop online, book railway tickets, buy Internet connection packages, play online games and pay utility bills) coupon, specifically for this offer. This is a new concept in the DTH industry where subscribers can top-up their subscription using tailor-made package cards.