New Delhi. In a path breaking decision to revolutionize and modernize the train enquiry system, Indian Railways has announced to create a separate Facebook page for every train to show its running status.
“Keeping in mind the widespread use of Facebook, this will certainly ease the enquiry process of a train’s running status. Now people can easily track the location of the train in which they or their relatives have booked a ticket,” Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge told Faking News.
“Celebrities, TV shows, and every other thing that people want to know about, have created their own Facebook pages to keep their fans updated. So we thought to do the same,” Minister explained.
The Minister launched the Facebook page of Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express, kick starting the “modernization” of Indian Railways. The page already had 5000 likes, with most of the ‘likes’ coming from Istanbul in Turkey.
“I have no idea why Turkish people love Rajdhani Express,” Kharge said, “But let’s not waste time over it. This is a grand project and we are sure that people all over the world would like it.”
Sources claim that the government is hoping to reach out to the youth and impress them before the next general elections. The step is also expected to generate employment that will further help the government polish its electoral pitch.
“Railways will hire Facebook page handlers for each train, who will sit next to the train driver with a laptop and mobile broadband. Their job will be to write status updates throughout the journey, informing people about train’s current station and to keep posting photos and other details from journey,” a government source revealed.
“They will also post Railway jokes, but no IRCTC jokes, to get more likes,” the source revealed the government strategy for increasing the reach of such pages.
While salaries to such handlers will be an added burden to the Railways, the organization is eyeing to generate some extra revenue by roping in sponsors for each status updates. So, don’t get shocked when you see some status like: “Train is currently at New Delhi. Wear Lux thermal wears to beat Dilli ki sardi. Yeh andar ki baat hai!”
While the government is calling it a step towards modernization, critics claim that this has been done to hide technical inefficiencies and glitches that were noticed on government’s existing enquiry system. Apart from a faulty algorithm, slow servers were also blamed.
This million dollar idea of using a simple algorithm and using Facebook’s servers was conceived by one of their officers, who was surfing Facebook on duty.
“We can always blame ‘human error’ if there is a faulty update, and blame Facebook if the page is not available,” a Railways official explained why it was a million dollar idea.
New pages for different trains where being set up at the time of filing this report, while an unidentified person, claiming to be the nephew of Mallikarjun Kharge, was seen offering jobs to jobless Facebook users.