No communication gap! Indian Railways responds to 13,000 queries everyday amidst COVID-19 lockdown

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Published: April 28, 2020 3:36:48 PM

The Railway Emergency Cell for COVID-19 has been responding to nearly 13,000 queries, suggestions, and requests daily, from five communication as well as feedback platforms - Helpline numbers 138 and 139, social media platforms, especially Twitter, email and CPGRAMS.

railwaysOver 90 per cent of the queries were responded on a one-to-one basis over telephone, mostly in the caller’s local language.

Amid lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Indian Railways is taking steps for its customers and the general public! The Railway Emergency Cell for COVID-19 has been responding to nearly 13,000 queries, suggestions, and requests daily, from five communication as well as feedback platforms – Helpline numbers 138 and 139, social media platforms, especially Twitter, email (railmadad@rb.railnet.gov.in) and CPGRAMS. The comprehensive nation-wide unit comprises of around 400 officers from the Railway Board to Railway Divisions. According to the Railway Ministry, over 90 per cent of the queries were responded on a one-to-one basis over telephone, mostly in the caller’s local language.

In addition to queries answered by Indian Railways’ IVRS facility, over 2,30,000 queries were answered through the Rail Madad Helpline number 139 on a one-on-one basis in the first four weeks of the nationwide lockdown. While the queries over helpline numbers 138 and 139 are generally for the commencement of passenger train services and the relaxed refund rules on tickets, the Social Media platforms are flushed with appreciation of Indian Railways’ efforts as well as suggestions in these trying times, the ministry stated.

On helpline number 138, which is geo-fenced, i.e., calls land on the nearest Railway Divisional Control Office as per the caller’s location, more than 1,10,000 calls were received, during the same period. The facility ensures that the callers receive guidance and information in the language that they are comfortable speaking. Besides, the new feature also makes the flow of information to customers of Indian Railways as well as others, faster as the pertinent information is readily available with the concerned Railway Division.

Additionally, the national transporter started time tabled parcel train services for the time-bound delivery of essential commodities such as life-saving drugs. Using Parcel special trains, RMS, as well as other consignments that were struck at various points, were cleared as well. Moreover, suggestions were incorporated by Indian Railways that were received from the public, on a real-time basis, wherever possible. For an example, the East Coast Railway zone had planned a parcel train service from Yashwantpur to Guwahati. However, the train did not have a planned stoppage at Vishakhapatnam, but after receiving a suggestion on Twitter, it was rerouted through the station. Moreover, the national transporter also played a crucial role in transporting life-saving drugs to those who were unable to procure them due to the countrywide lockdown.

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