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News : CR Passengers Made Maximum Complaints on Security Helpline 182
Mumbai, India, Oct 9, 2015 -- Central Railway passengers complained the most on the pan-India security helpline '182' while those commuting on South Western Railway rarely dialled the number in the first three quarters of 2015. The helpline has received 4,491 complaints so far this year and has facilitated arrests of 882 offenders.
The complaints were made under heads such as theft of luggage, baggage left behind by passengers, unauthorized travel, calls for medical assistance and missing passengers, and amenities. Interestingly, 184 fake complaints also came in.
Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu had, in the railway budget, announced the creation of a pan-India security helpline that would operate on a 24/7 basis. The idea was to have a single helpline that would be easy to remember. "The Railway Protection Force (RPF) in every zone used to run its own helpline, which has been done away with. Multiple helplines add to the confusion," said an official while admitting that the state-run Government Railway Police (GRP) continue to operate their independent helplines.
The negligible number of complaints logged in by South Western Railway (0.9%) and North East Frontier Railway (1.29%) is due to lack of awareness among commuters, say officials. "The helpline would have to be displayed prominently in trains plying in these areas. Central Railway accounts for 36.5% of total complaints received; a majority (545 complaints) were made in May during the holiday rush. "The '182' helpline is used more on the suburban section than in long-distance trains in Maharashtra. Typically, complaints pertain to unauthorized travel in women's coaches or compartments reserved for the disabled," said chief security commissioner A K Singh, RPF, CR.
The helpline can only be dialled if a commuter is inside railway premises. "This is done to keep out callers having plaints not related to the railways," said an official. But the helpline has received its share of fake calls. "There have been instances, though not too many, when commuters call up to report an incident which has not actually occurred. We classify calls as fake only after our personnel verify the information on the ground," said the official. No penal action has been taken against any fake callers as yet.
The helpline has facilitated medical assistance to 209 commuters suffering from emergencies. Valuables left behind accidentally on railway premises have been returned in 353 cases. "Anxious families of passengers unable to get in touch with them on phone have connected with them via the helpline in 81 instances," said RPF inspector general (crime and intelligence) Anoop Srivastava.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2015