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News : Railways to Introduce National Helpline Today for Food, Cleanliness Complaints
Mumbai, India, Feb 26, 2015 -- Train passengers will now be able to lodge complaints regarding cleanliness, coach maintenance, food and catering by dialing an all-India helpline number, 138.
At present, passengers can send an SMS to control room numbers or divisional officers numbers displayed in coaches regarding such complaints.
The new national helpline will be operated round-the-clock from February 26, the day the railway budget will be presented in New Delhi.
A senior railway official said, "All complaints, except those related to security, will be handled by this three-digit helpline. We will set up multiple lines for the number so that passengers can get across easily. The complaint will be attended to by a person."
The railways have introduced the helpline as they felt that the interactive voice response system, in which complaints are received by electronic receptionists, do not inspire confidence among complainants.
The official said that the divisional commercial control, on receipt of a complaint from a passenger, will forward it to the respective department control.
If a complaint is received at the Mumbai division but the train has left from that jurisdiction, the Mumbai control will forward the complaint to the division where the train will have its next scheduled halt.
The official said, "This will prevent passing of the buck. All complainants will receive an acknowledgement number. It will ensure better monitoring as all complaints will be registered department-wise."
The railways will be able to take corrective steps in segments where complaints are frequent. For example, if there are too many complaints related to linen from a particular train, the railways will be able to take remedial measures.
An official said, "It is difficult for passengers to store and remember multiple helpline numbers."
Indian Railways has also decided to start a new helpline number 182 for passengers to provide urgent help in case they face any danger. Railway officials said the new number will be printed on each and every railway ticket issued by the passenger reservation system. Apart from it, few other important instructions will also be printed on the ticket.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, February 27, 2015