Railways to take grievances aired through Social Media seriously

So far complaints received through social media have been handled by railway employees in zonal and divisional offices.

CHENNAI : Have a grievance during rail travel? Worry not as complaints regarding unclean loos, damaged seats, poor quality of food etc., will soon be addressed in an efficient manner. All you need to do is lodge your complaint on social media platforms and it will be taken care off by the private parties soon to be hired by the Railway Ministry.

So far complaints received through social media have been handled by railway employees in zonal and divisional offices. However, owing to shortage of staff and other administrative constraints, hardly a few complaints could be acknowledged let alone redressed.According to a Railway Board directive issued to zonal railways and production units, a team of 13 persons headed by a project leader will be deployed at zonal-levels.“The dedicated team will aggregate the grievances received through social media forums and keep on sharing them with nominated official responsible at zonal and divisional level,” said the order dated June 6.

Besides analysing the content of every news item carried in print, electronic and online media, the agency will formulate a communication strategy for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora, Youtube, LinkedIn. “By analysing the feedback from various platforms, the agency will lend professional expertise to improve the system. Railway personnel will be briefed on important matters based on inputs from social media,” added the Railway Board order.

The agency has been entrusted with the task of creating graphics, animation videos and infographics for promoting railway schemes online. It will also assist the public relations department and divisional railway managers in creating responses in an effective and timely manner.

While the proposal is expected to simplify complaint redressal mechanism, on the flip-side the move is also feared to create confusion as many requests received through social media are trivial in nature and beyond the scope of immediate solution.

“A few years ago a man posted a request seeking water for his wife who travelled in a reserved compartment. When we checked details of the tickets, we found the train had a pantry car and water was being sold from the time when the train left the station. In addition, many on-board passengers have requested operation of train on different routes for their own convenience,” said a senior railway official.

Trivial requests

While the proposal is expected to simplify complaint redressal mechanism, on the flip-side, the move is also feared to create confusion as many requests received through social media are trivial in nature and beyond the scope of immediate solution. “Many on-board passengers have requested operation of train on different routes for their own convenience,” said a senior railway official

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