The Indian Railways will soon introduce a smart OTP-based digital locking system in freight and parcel trains to prevent theft, pilferage or loss of any cargo or parcel. These locks to be installed in each wagon will be a combination of physical and digital locking system, similar to what is used by trucks engaged by e-commerce firms.
Since the entire system will be geo-fenced, there will be no scope for unauthorised opening of locks. A senior railway ministry official said such system used by trucks deployed by e-commerce firms are GPS-enabled, which allows live tracking of the vehicle to reduce pilferage.
He added that three railway zones are working to identify companies which could provide the best service at an affordable cost. Soon the national transporter will match the system with norms set by CRIS, the railways’ wing that designs, develops, implements and maintains its IT systems. The official said the system will be completely based on secure OTP which will be used to both open and close carriages.
“The goods will not be accessible while on transit. It will be opened through an OTP and closed by another without any interference in between. Currently, we seal the trains and our people deployed at every station spot whether the locks are intact. The new system will address several concerns and there will be no need for physical verification. If anyone tries to break or cut the lock, we will be able to spot them quickly,” another official said.
In this system, the OTP will be received by the designated railway personnel at a station where loading or unloading has to be done. When the lock gets closed, an OTP is sent to the mobile number of the personnel concerned. After reaching the destination, the driver has to confirm the location by pressing the button in the lock. Then the OTP will be verified and another OTP will be sent to the driver’s mobile number to unlock.