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News : Missed Calls Flood Western Railway's 1311 Helpline Number
Mumbai, India, Sept 21, 2015 -- It seems commuters on Western Railway's suburban system need an assurance that the passenger helpline number 1311 is actually working. The reason — a whopping 78.7% of all calls made to the helpline number in July this year were missed calls. According to figures of July, of the 3,720 calls that the helpline received, 2,931 were missed calls.
The missed calls outnumber calls from the ladies coaches — 105 calls for July — and the coach meant for the disabled — 106 calls — by a huge margin, the statistics show. Wrong number calls for July stood at 241.
While Railway Protection Force officials who oversee the line say they have never gone into a serious study of why this is the case, senior commandant RPF Anand Vijay Jha agreed the missed calls could be an effort by the commuter to verify if the number is working. "It is a toll-free number; so commuters might just be doing it for re-assurance while they are travelling," Jha told dna.
What has however brought smiles to the RPF is the fact that the number is rapidly gaining acceptance among the commuting class. The number of calls have shown a steady increase. Against a total of 5,738 calls last year, this year up till August the calls have gone up to 11,630.
Even in these calls, the dominant ones are non-security calls with people informing about unclean coaches, defunct fans and lights etc. Security calls are the ones about people entering ladies coaches, hawking, fights between passengers, stone-pelting, chain snatching and other such penal offences.
In 2014, security calls stood at 1,430 while non-security stood at 4,308. Till August this year, the security ones came down to 1,161 while the non-security ones went up to 10,469.
The officials are seeing it as a good sign. "As the trust factor in a helpline increases, it will start getting all kinds of calls because people are convinced that the helpline will be bale to solve their woes. That is a good sign," senior commandant Jha said.
Helpline 1311 July data:
* Total calls 3,720
* Missed calls 2,931
* Ladies coach calls 105
* Disabled coach calls 106
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Indian Railways is an Indian state-owned enterprise, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways.
Published: Thursday, September 24, 2015