Indian Railways helpline numbers respond to over 1.25 lakh queries in 1st 10 days of COVID-19 lockdown!

Nikita Prasad
Indian Railways

Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways continues its brave fight against COVID-19! In a bid to assist Indian Railways passengers and to help in resolving issues in freight operations, Indian Railways personnel responded to over 1,25,000 queries in the first 10 days of the COVID-19 lockdown. The Railway Board had set up a new Indian Railways' centralised control office to deliver results in quick real-time, after the 21-day lockdown was declared to prevent the Coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the helpline facility has come as a huge communication support for passengers.

According to a Railway Ministry release, the railway control office has been doing a thorough monitoring of four of the communication platforms namely, the helpline numbers 138 and 139, Twitter handle and the email railmadad@rb.railnet.gov.in. In the first 10 days of the COVID-19 lockdown, Indian Railways personnel responded to over 1,25,000 queries, out of which 87 per cent, which means 1,09,000 queries were handled through direct human interaction over the phone.

RailMadad helpline 139

  • The Rail Madad Helpline number 139 answered more than 80,000 queries on one to one basis in the first 10 days of the COVID-19 lockdown. This was in addition to the queries answered by its IVRS facility.
  • The queries were mostly for the commencement of train services and the relaxed refund rules on tickets. The relaxed refund on tickets was done on the basis of the feedback from the public.

Railway Helpline 138

  • The queries which were received on the Helpline number 138 were geo-fenced, which means that the calls land on the very nearest of the Railway Divisional Control Office. The divisional control office is being manned round the clock by the Indian Railways personnel, who are well versed in the local language and also familiar with the local issues, according to the location of the caller.
  • This system ensures that the callers receive information and guidance in the language of their choice, or in which they are comfortable speaking. This new facility has overcome the language barrier and also makes the flow of information faster and easier.

The Indian Railways centralised control office is being manned round the clock by the director-level officers. These officials monitor the citizen feedback and their suggestions received on social media as well as on email. The system also ensures that all the difficulties faced by railway passengers are removed and that their queries are answered in a specific time frame.