A week after the Railways introduced helpline numbers on WhatsApp to lodge complaints regarding lack of cleanliness at stations, officials said the number has not only been inundated with forwards but also received Friendship Day wishes on Sunday.
In a week, while the helpline has received 25 complaints about unclean premises on Central (CR) and Western Railways (WR), forwards have exceeded the number of actual complaints. “We have received text messages wishing us good morning, good evening and rest. Messages of deities with devotional messages have been forwarded and we have also received amusing Hindi poems,” an official said.
On July 31, the Railways had launched WhatsApp numbers to report and register complaints against unclean station premises as well as pay and use toilets. While the number for the WR is 90044 99773, commuters on the CR can report to 9987645307. The numbers are manned by the twitter cells of CR and WR.
Usually, commuters report cleanliness issues to the station master, who logs the same in the complaint book of the station. Officials said the helpline allows immediate action to be taken on the complaints.
“Passengers can click pictures of unclean premises and pay and use toilets and send the same on WhatsApp. A dedicated staff has been deputed round-the-clock in the complaints cell. Full attempt will be made to attend to the area concerned immediately. Station masters, inspectors and officers will undertake regular inspections,” said Ravinder Bhaker, WR spokesperson.
About receiving such forwards, a senior Railways official said: “We have asked the staff to delete these messages, which we receive daily. The most repeated messages include ‘sending a particular forward message to 15 people to ensure good luck in one’s life’. These messages are a nuisance and waste of our time.”
So far, while the WR has received 23 complaints of unclean station premises and toilets, the CR has received two complaints of unclean toilets at Diva and Titwala stations. The WR, among others, has received four complaints on unclean Andheri station and two for Nalasopara. Also, unclean toilet complaints have been received for Andheri and Borivali.
“The complaints are sent to the control department, which forwards it to the staff concerned, including the respective station master, whose station has been reported to be unclean. While there is no deadline to redress the complaint, we try to do so the same day,” an official said.
Apart from the helpline, the Railways is also active on Twitter to redress complaints against uncleanliness in mail express trains and pantries.