North Central Railway
No. PR/NCR/1/2019 Press Release Dated:16.01.2019
NORTH CENTRAL RAILWAY DOES ANOTHER ‘FIRST’ DURING KUMBH MELA: GOES MULTILINGUAL WITH IT’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
In another ‘first’, the North Central Railway administration has pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat by devising a system through which announcements made in Hindi can be automatically translated into as many as 6 different languages for the benefit of pilgrims and tourists coming to the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj from different parts of country and the world. This has been done to enable non-Hindi-speaking passengers understand the announcements being made at the Railway Stations, passenger enclosures etc. The system, which runs on software specially designed for this purpose, auto-records an announcement, which is then translated by the specially developed software in 7 languages: English, Gujrati, Marathi, Kannad, Tamil, Malyalam. “We realized very early in our preparations for the Kumbh Mela that we would be needing such a multilingual announcement system at the actual time when the Mela would be in progress” said CPRO/NCR. “Our Commercial department set to work on an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based system which was a success and which has started working at Allahabad Junction station” he added. CPRO/NCR informed that beside the languages mentioned above, work is in progress on automatic translation of Hindi announcements in Telugu, Oriya and Bengali also. In the first phase, this system has started working at Allahabad Junction station at the platforms and in the passenger enclosures since 14thJanuary. In the second phase, it is planned toextend it to Naini and Allahabad Cheokistations as well as the Sangam area (Railway Camp) before the second main bathing day on the 21st of January. The system has already proven its worth and utility by helping non-Hindi-speaking passengers locate their kith and kin on the station amongst the rush.In future, North Central Railway authoritiesare planning to develop a face to face enquiry system based on Artificial Intelligence which can be used by non-Hindi-speaking passengers to get answers to their unique queries from personnel manning the enquiry counters of stations. Needless to say, such an enquiry system would prove to be a game changer and would be of immense benefit to the passengers who visit the holy city of Prayagraj in great numbers every year, and in unprecedented numbers in every Kumbh Mela. In a nutshell, the multilingual, AI-based, announcement system is another example of how modern technology can be used to greatly benefit people at the grassroots with a little bit of imagination and the administrative will to back it up.