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Rail Madad Helpline responding to complaints, queries, requests and suggestions everyday

Indian Railways has taken 360 degree measures to ensure that 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 24 th March, 2020. However, this did not
limit Railways’ outreach to its customers and public in general. As Railways ran large number of goods trains
throughout, Shramik Special trains from 1 st May, 2020 and Special Passanger trains from 12 th May, 2020
onwards, it was felt that Railways should have a Unit to listen and give 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 - Help lines 139 and 138, social media (specially
Twitter), email ( and CPGRAMS. More than 90% of the queries were responded
over telephone o­n o­ne-to-one basis, mostly in the local language of the caller. Due to this 24x7 hour working
Indian Railways had its ears to the ground, leading to fleet-footed response to redress grievances of both
Railways’ customers and general public. For its swift response, Railways garnered praise from across the
Rail Madad Helpline 139 continues to answer lakhs of queries o­n o­ne-on-one basis in addition to
queries answered by its IVRS facility. While the queries are mostly for commencement of train services and
the relaxed refund rules (which itself was done o­n the basis of the feedback from public), the social media is
flush with appreciation of Railways’ efforts in these trying times. Some of the efforts lauded include running of
freight trains carrying essential items, waiving penalties for late release of wagons, converting coaches into
hospital wards, distribution of food packets, preparing PPEs, sanitizers & other equipment to fight against
Covid-19 etc.
Analysing 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 o­n line complaints amounts 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
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.

(Subhanan Chanda)
CPRO/N.F. Railway

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