By Siddharth Sehgal
Indian Railways is the symbolism and lifeblood of India that runs on tracks. Western tourist delighting in luxury of palace on wheels or vendors selling tree in jam packed general bogie, it’s not just a means of traveling and livelihood. It’s an integral part of our culture. Beggars asking alms, auto rickshaw drivers calling the new arrivals, people sipping on tea, buying newspaper, standing in easy to jump ticket lines and waiting for the glimpse of a train engine at the distant track is a common sight at a typical Indian railway station. People don’t take into account the factor of convenience while planning a trip, you might be in waiting list which didn’t got confirmed till the last moment, the platform got changed, not to mention the delays which are one of the main grudges of the people and off course the crowd.
We Indians take the irregularities as a necessary evil of the railways. It’s not always that way and it’s serves a very crucial purpose but as long as it gets the work done people prefer not to complaint. Being one of the world’s largest employers doesn’t mean it’s going to be a well-oiled machine. Everyone have their own story of worst travelling experience but I can tell you from my own experience that if you raise the concern it does get answered. It will be resolved and addressed that I cannot promise but someone will lend you an ear.
Many of you might know that you can register your concerns and complaints at the station itself with the station manager or station master. You’ll get a copy or acknowledgement of the complaint you filed which would then go up the chain and you might get a decision on your issue in the mail. Process is slow but at least it’s there. If this base level of filing a complaint doesn’t work then you can definitely write to the upper authorities. We looked at various online tools that are made available by the government to oversee customer concerns.
The website of Indian Railways which looks pretty stuffed to the hilt has lots of link and information to digest. There is no separate form for lodging grievances and it says as such in the FAQ section but if you clicked the Ministry of railway link at the bottom of the website there is a public grievances tab which lead you to Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances. It looks like a separate government entity in itself but better than having noting. We didn’t stop here, we goggled term “Indian railway complaints” and we got some results related to our query. There is a customer care website and form specifically dedicated to this purpose which provides means to file and track complaints
Even IRCTC, which most of the people use to book online tickets also have information related to public grievances redressal under jago yatri jago tab. It directs to lodge complaints by logging in and also provides a tool free number and an SMS number for resolving the issue. Also various railway zones have public grievances tabs on their website which lead to same department of administrative reforms and public grievances mentioned above. Besides, these forms following phone numbers are also provided for lodging complaints for different zones.
011-23345300 (Central Control)
011-23221147 (North Zone)
033-266601743 (East Zone)
040-27716145 (South Central Zone)
022-22618067 (West Zone)
044-25353341 (South Zone)
Do keep the ticket handy, PNR number and provide all the details related to your matter for example date of travel, time, train number, compartment and berth number etc. We also appeal our readers to help us compile more information regarding customer grievance redressal. So that it can help creating an awareness and understanding about issues impacting our day to day lives.