In their attempt to provide better services to long-distance commuters, it has been learnt that railways would be launching a single, 3-digit helpline number. The number 138 will address all passenger complaints, other than security concerns, at the station or inside the trains.

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Until now, no such facility was available for long-distance commuters to lodge their complaints. Sources claimed the new number is likely to become operational from today, soon after the announcement of the rail budget. Presently, most complaints received by the railways are pertaining cleanliness and faulty electrical fittings inside the coaches.

“This will be an all-India helpline number for passengers, who can raise issues pertaining cleanliness, maintenance of coaches, quality of bedding provided, food and catering facility inside trains,” said a senior railway official.

How it works
Sources said every railway zone would be setting up this helpline number throughout its divisions. For example, Western Railway has six and Central Railway has five divisions. Control rooms will be established as per the needs of the respective railways and shall be functional round-the-clock.

Telephone instruments at these control rooms will be equipped with caller IDs and log-cum-recording facility. Explaining its functionality, officials said that whenever a passenger lodges a complaint on this number, an operator at the control room will identify the location of the train with the help of the complainant.

“If there is a complaint about unclean coach, then the operator will inform the nearest control area through which the train has to pass,” said a railway official. “The rail attendant is then expected to visit the coach from where the complaint was made and address it at the earliest. If the glitch is technical, then fixing it may take time.”