Goods, parcel trains to be soon ‘sealed’ with OTP-based locks

An OTP-based digital locking system will soon be introduced in the Railways to guard against theft on board its freight and parcel trains, a senior official said Tuesday. This system is commonly used by trucks where a smart lock is provided which is GPS enabled allowing live tracking of the vehicle to reduce pilferage and thefts. Officials said that 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 its journey. It will be opened through an OTP and closed by another without any interference in between. Now, all we do is seal the trains and ensure at every station that the seal is untouched. This will reduce a lot of issues while the train is on run,” said an official. He said that the OTP will be received by a railway personnel at each station that loading or unloading has to be done, to ensure that the system runs smoothly. Explaining the process, the official said that when the lock gets closed an OTP is sent to the personnel concerned’s mobile number. After reaching the destination the driver has to confirm the location by pressing the button in the lock. The personnel’s OTP is verified and another OTP is sent to the driver’s mobile number to unlock the lock. The train will also be tracked and the location will be recorded. If door tampers or collision occur, an alert message will be sent to the official’s mobile number. While the official could not provide data on how much goods is stolen from trains during the services, according to a January 25 statement issued by the Railways, the RPF registered 6492 cases of theft of railway property in 2022, recovering stolen railway property worth Rs 7.37 crore with the arrest of 11268 offenders under ‘Operation Rail Suraksha’. Officials said that at least three railway zones are actively working to identify companies who could provide this service in a cost effective manner to the Railways.