Railways must act regularly on complaints

Mumbai: The high levels of dissatisfaction among commuters about passenger amenities can be explained by a finding of the MRVC survey itself: nearly 52% of those interviewed were unhappy with the complaint-handling mechanism of the railways.

“In the electricity supply laws, there is provision that the firms should have an internal grievance mechanism system. Indian Railways should have this kind of a system in place so that complaints can be handled efficiently and solution found to problems,” said Shirish Deshpande of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.

A senior railway official conceded that passenger grievances should be taken more seriously. “A railway official’s mind is conditioned to think that his only priority is operation of trains and safety. We have set up helpline numbers, SMS system and also keep complaint books at various stations. But a review is needed to find out the efficacy of the system.”

Many commuters claimed that their complaints regarding cleanliness of toilets on platforms, pestering by beggars and eunuchs, faulty passenger display systems and such like go unattended.

“The authorities invariably call from head office to acknowledge the receipt of a complaint. But that does not result in resolution of a problem. The railways needs to devise a system to punish non-performing officials,” said activist Anil Galgali.

The answer to higher rate of dissatisfaction among commuters about poor standards of public amenities can be found in the survey that was carried out on behalf of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MVRC).

The survey states that nearly 52 per cent of those interviewed were unhappy with Complaint handling mechanism of railways.

Shirish Deshpande, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat said, “In the electricity act, there is provision that the firms should have internal grievance mechanism system. The Indian railways should also have this kind of system in place so that the complaints can be handled efficiently and solution found to problems.”

A senior railway official conceded that the railway administration need take passenger grievances more seriously. He said, “A railway officials mind is conditioned to think that his only priority is operational of train and its safety. We do have set up help line numbers, SMS system and also keep complaint book at various stations and with stations managers. A review needs to undertaken to find out the efficacy of this system.”

Many commuter claimed that their complaints regarding cleanliness on platform toilets, beggars, passenger display system, go unattended.

Railway activist Anil Galgali said, “The authorities invariably call from head office to acknowledge the receipt of a complaint. However, the acknowledgement of a complaint does not result in the resolution of the problem. The railways need to devise a system to punish the bad officials, besides taking quick action in resolving the complaint.”

Another railway official said, “The railway officials work under several constraint. For example, we do not have adequate funds, besides there is also shortage of staff. Unless, these problems are resolved, the complaint mechanism system is bound to remain short of expectation.

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