Central Railways will close complaints only after passenger is satisfied

Updated: Feb 24, 2020, 07:42 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

With growing criticism that complaints are not addressed, officials to send OTP to commuters to give real-time feedback

Spark or the Sajha Prayas Aapka aur Rail Ka has been developed for long-distance trains on the Mumbai division. File pic
Spark or the Sajha Prayas Aapka aur Rail Ka has been developed for long-distance trains on the Mumbai division. File pic

You can now be assured that your feedback on housekeeping services on Central Railway's Mumbai division will get the attention it deserves. CR passengers will get a one-time password (OTP) to close their complaints only if they are satisfied, thanks to a new mobile app that gives them the power to do so.

Called SPARK or the Sajha Prayas Aapka aur Rail Ka, the Mechanical (Coaching) Department along with the IT Cell of CR, has developed this QR Code/URL-based Housekeeping App. Staff on nearly 42 long-distance trains on CR's Mumbai division will operate the app.

Commuters have welcomed the move. "The Indian Railways should adopt this app of the CR for use in all trains. The manual passenger feedback system on paper forms is not fool-proof. Anyone can tamper with it. With the OTP in the passenger's mobile, he/she is assured that the complainant has actually filled it up to his/her satisfaction," a long-time passenger association member, Shailesh Goyal, said.

The app will deal with complaints regarding housekeeping on long-distance trains in Mumbai divisionThe app will deal with complaints regarding housekeeping on long-distance trains in Mumbai division

Passengers can choose

"When I was travelling to the south, the sweeper cleaned the floor and later came with a form asking me to fill it up with five stars and good things. I did it readily, as if I had not done it, he could have done it himself with my PNR number and name, which is pasted on the train's reservation chart. But with the app and OTP, I could always refuse to so, if I don't wish to," Jitendra Gupta of Mumbai Transport Forum said.

Ajit Shenoy of the Mumbai Mobility Forum said that the there were some recent news reports saying there was some problem with the contractor, which resulted in commuters having to collect their bed linen from the store.

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"I appreciate this new system introduced by the railways. This app will take care of all such problems," he said.

'Tamper proof mechanism'

Explaining how the app works, CR Chief Public Relations Officer Shivaji Sutar said the app is linked to a QR code-based system where the passenger can feed in basic details of the train, seat number etc and nature of complaint.

"The complaint goes to the on-board housekeeping supervisor (OBHS) as a text message and an app update. If the complaint is not resolved in 30 minutes it is escalated to a senior officer. Instead of a feedback form, commuters will get a tab and they can update the complaint status there with the OTP linked to their PNR number," he said.

"This was done so no one can tamper with the feedback mechanism. In addition to this, onboard supervisors will have to send images taken to update the complaint status. The images will also have a time-stamp to further make this fool-proof," Sutar added.

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