Rail Madad Helpline responding to complaints, queries, requests, and suggestions every day


Rail Madad Helpline responding to complaints, queries, requests, and suggestions every day

Indian Railways has taken 360-degree measures to ensure that the interest of the passengers and all commercial clients are taken care of and national supply chains keep running. To arrest the spread of Covid-19, Indian Railways stopped regular passenger train operations from 24th March 2020. However, this did not limit Railways’ outreach to its customers and the public in general. As Railways ran a large number of goods trains throughout, Shramik Special trains from 1st May 2020 and Special Passenger train from 12th May 2020 onwards, it was felt that Railways should have a Unit to listen and give a swift response to rail users. Indian Railways has been responding to complaints, queries, requests, and suggestions every day, from five different communication and feedback platforms – Helplines 139 and 138, social media (especially Twitter), email (railmadad@rb.railnet.gov.in) and CPGRAMS. More than 90% of the queries were responded over the telephone on a one-to-one basis, mostly in the local language of the caller. Due to this 24×7 hour working Indian Railways had its ears to the ground, leading to a fleet-footed response to redress grievances of both Railways’ customers and the general public. For its swift response, Railways garnered praise from across the country. Rail Madad Helpline 139 continues to answer lakhs of queries on a one-on-one basis in addition to queries answered by its IVRS facility.  While the queries are mostly for the commencement of train services and the relaxed refund rules (which itself was done on the basis of the feedback from the public), the social media is flush with an appreciation of Railways’ efforts in these trying times. Some of the efforts lauded include running of freight trains carrying essential items, waiving penalties for the late release of wagons, converting coaches into hospital wards, distribution of food packets, preparing PPEs, sanitizers & other equipment to fight against Covid-19, etc. Analyzing of the Rail Madad report for the April to June 2020 period shows that it has achieved the disposal rate of 99.51% (excluding refund cases). During the period; IRCTC online complaints amount to 48%, train-related complaints accounted for 29% and station related complaints accounted for 23% of the total complaints received all over Indian Railways. Calls received on Helpline 138 are geo-fenced i.e. calls land on the nearest Railway Divisional Control Office (manned round-the-clock by Railway personnel well-versed in local language and familiar with local issues) as per the location of the caller. This ensures that callers receive information and guidance in the language that they are comfortable speaking. This new feature overcomes the language barrier and makes the flow of information to Railway customers and others faster as the pertinent information is readily available with the Division. Recently a new feature has been added in the Rail Madad through which one can provide suggestions on related issues.

Indranil Dutta, Haflong, Ne India News


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