Lack of hygiene is a major concern that every passenger who makes use of Indian railways faces. The untidy toilets, unclean coaches, bad food quality are all common issues faced by a normal railway passenger. In a recent survey conducted by the research firm Market Xcel in four different zones of the country which included 12 cities, it was found out that the majority of the passengers were not really satisfied with the hygienic conditions on trains they travel.
Thirty per cent of the people who were surveyed mentioned that cleanliness of toilets was their top issue, while 14 per cent rated unclean coaches as their major concern. Another 13 per cent mentioned that bad quality of food is their biggest worry.Though there are compliant register available with the ticket collector, very few makes use of it properly, as a result these problems are left unnoticed.
The Indian Railways which transport millions of passengers across the length and breadth of the country has recently taken an initiative for introducing a SMS based service. This is for giving an immediate response to passenger grievances concerning housekeeping service in coaches. As of now, this service will be launched on a few selected trains only. It allows passengers to contact the onboard staff through SMS or phone call. They can explain complaints related to cleanliness in coaches, toilets and other problems faced during their journey.
It was already mentioned in the Rail Budget of 2013-14 that an On-site Passenger Complaint Redressal System (OPCRS) is soon coming up. This SMS service will be introduced in Mumbai Rajdhani or Bangalore Rajdhani as part of a pilot test. According to this new system, a passenger can send SMS for any issue concerning coach housekeeping like unclean toilets, births etc.
“Passengers will SMS his PNR on a common number like one being used for PNR inquiry,” the official said. Railways have already asked for a three-digit number from the Department of Telecommunication for this purpose.
When you send the SMS, then that information will be registered on OPCRS connected with GSM network. It will be instantly routed to a GSM hand held unit (mobile phone) available with the housekeeping supervisor on train. You will receive an acknowledgement on your mobile phone with a complaint ID with instruction to disclose the ID to the housekeeping supervisor after he attends to the problem to his satisfaction.
Housekeeping supervisor after receiving the receipt of passenger information, would locate him, get briefing of his requirements and attend the problem immediately and gives the passenger the required feedback. After completing the job, housekeeping supervisor would request for complaint ID from the passenger and send it via SMS from the hand held unit back to OPCRS. It will send the feedback to the complainant for closure of his complaint.
This is an exciting news for millions of passengers who uses this mode of transport. They can react to the problems which they find on their way and expect a quick response from the authorities now.