Railway Minister calls for first-of-its-kind Satisfaction Appraisal for Railway Users

Chennai (MAS): Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has called for a first-of-its kind ‘passenger customer felicitation’ fortnight from May 26, during which all senior officials across the country have been ordered to meet passengers and get feedback.

A circular with 26 bullet points, which has been sent to all railway zones and production units, has notified the period as ‘Pakhwada’, meaning fortnight in Hindi. The proposed celebration will be organised from May 26 to June 9. All zonal general managers and divisional railway managers have been asked to conduct elaborate programmes including cleanliness and security drives.

In addition, Railway Board members have been directed to visit at least one important railway station to gauge the ground realities and problems faced by passengers on a day-to-day basis. Officials have also been asked to travel in second class compartments to better understand passenger problems and get the real feel, sources said.

Apart from personal interactions with passengers (or customers for Indian Railways), zonal railway have been instructed to organise health camps for employees and general public in remote areas of the country. Railway colonies, which are spread across vast areas in every region of the country, will also be cleaned during the fortnight.

This, as railway officials told, is an initiative by the Minister, who reportedly spends many hours on the field trying to understand the day-to-day issues faced by rail commuters as well as keeping an eye on important policy decisions.

On the right track

Passenger (customer) felicitation fortnight or Pakhwada will be held from May 26 to June 9. Key features are:

  • General Managers and DRMs will visit stations and personally interact with passengers
  • Special cleanliness and security initiatives
  • Railway Board officials to visit at least one station and gauge day-to-day problems
  • Railway colony to be cleaned up
  • Health camps planned in remote areas