Open letter to Ministry of Railways, Government of India

Dear Minister and concerned personnel of Ministry of Railways, Government of India.

Subject: Lack of timely information to passengers

Recently I have made a reservation on Train Number 17643 to travel from Chennai to Tanuku. I have reached Tambaram Railway station almost one and half hour before. Checked on National Train Enquiry System (NTES) to find platform number and it’s not available.

Called 139; there was no easiest way to reach customer service representative. As you are aware, India has diverse set of users and not all of them are familiar with Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) system and we do prefer to speak to human for assistance. I took a chance and pressed option 5 which is meant for booking rail tickets using debit / credit cards. (By the way, not sure how secure booking over IVR is). So got connected with a representative . When I have provided train number, she was able to retrieve train name instantly, however, without listening to me any further, she said “train is on-time”. when I have asked for platform number, she said that she has no information. I have made this call just about 20 minutes before train’s departure time. She was very casual in saying information may or may not get updated. When I have asked her to register a complaint, she has refused and with a weird laugh, she has said go to the station and report.

Even when coach position was announced, there was no mention about the platform number. Platform number was only announced only when train is about to arrive on the platform. Thanks to shops on the platform who have mentioned usually Circar express comes on Platform number 5. What if their prediction is wrong? How would elderly, people with disabilities, women who are pregnant could reach the platform within 2 minutes of time and locate their coach while train stops only for 2 minutes at many stations.

Indian Railways is such a large organization and I see no reason why things cannot be planned. If it’s ignorant of personnel, that would be absolute blunder and not acceptable.

Even in the train, as soon as we got in, within about less than an hour, we were asked to fill in the feedback form. That is even before Ticket verification has done. And we did not notice anyone did any service for rest of the journey.

While Ministry of Railways claim that there is a lot of care taken for safety and cleanliness of rail travel, it doesn’t seem to have executed across zones. I urge immediate intervention of authorities and review quality of services across railway zones.

Thank you,

Srinivasu Chakravarthula

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