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Monday, 1 October 2018

RAIL MADAD - A one stop App for complaints and grievances in Indian Railways









RAIL MADAD
A one stop App for complaints and grievances in Indian Railways



The train journey – Often preferred by most of the people still hesitated by few due to the issues and problems which they may face during their journey. Not everyone has the guts to become AMBI of Anniyan Film to complain in person. But we cannot rule out the Ambis who are within us especially when we come across the stinky toilets and the unhygienic compartments in train. We may not have the power and courage of Anniyan when we see the ladies being harassed in front of us.



But all that we have known is to pull the chain to stop the train. And this has helped many a passengers over the period. Pulling the chain and shouting at the TTE is the Ambi's way of doing the things. As the Ambi has transformed to Anniyan to find a solution for problems he face, the physical mode of complaint system has transformed in to the digital mode. And on a lighter note, don’t ask me about the role of “Remo” as this is an out of syllabus topic :D



The Indian railways – Largest rail network in Asia and second largest in the world under single management (Source: IndianRailways.gov.in ), has been taking constant initiatives to ensure the safe travel of the passengers. Right from the oldest form of Chain, then to complaint note / book / register – The complaint and safety mechanism has seen a tremendous change over the period of time.



We are in the period where people expect everything to be done in digital mode especially via app. Indian railways in my view, always adaptable to the advancements. In its recent updation, the Indian Railways has launched a mobile app by the name “RAIL MADAD” . This mobile app aims to be the one stop solution for all the passenger grievances during their train journey. 

I will share the details of the app in the upcoming sections as a step-wise procedure for easy understanding.


Step-1: 
Download and install the RAIL MADAD app from the Google play store through the below link: 


https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yashtechnology.services.arailmadadf



I am not sure about the availability of this app for iPhone users , I will update it once I get an update on this. Install the app and register your profile.



Step-2: 
Open the app and  choose the desired option from the home screen. The options are as follows:



i)                Register my complaint for train :
Choose this option if you want to complain about the services in / about the train

ii)              Register my complaint for station:Choose this option if you want to complain about the railway station.

iii)           Helpline numbers: Choose this option if you want to view the helpline numbers to lodge complaint over phone. 




Step -3: Registering Complaint:   
Select the nature of complaint in the home screen as “Register my complaint for train”(or) “Register my complaint for station”

We need to type the PNR number / Train number / platform ticket number for which the complaint to be lodged. 


For complaints about train, we can lodge complaint under below mentioned 15 categories: 


1) Pest and Rodent Complaint

2) Allotment of seats-berths by train staff

3) Bedroll Complaints

4) Bribery and corruption

5) Catering and Vending Services

6) Complaint against the staff

7) Maintenance/Cleanliness of coaches

8) Malfunctioning of Electrical Equipment and A.C.

9) Non-availability of Water

10) Problem of touts/Middle man

11) Punctuality of Train

12) Thefts / Pilferages

13) Unauthorized passengers in coaches

14) Complaints related to Sleeper Class

15) Complaint against Train or Railway Protection.



For complaints about station, we can lodge complaint under below mentioned 20 categories: 


1) Bribery and corruption

2) Cleanliness at Station

3) Complaint against the staff

4) Long queue at Booking office

5) Malfunctioning of Electrical Equipment and A.C.

6) Misc. Cause

7) Non-availability of Water

8) Parcels/Luggage

9) Passenger Booking

10) Problems of Touts / Middlemen

11) Refund of Tickets

12) Reservation issues

13) Retiring Room

14) Signal & Telecommunication

15) Theft / Pilferages

16) Traffic Jam at Station circulating area

17) Water logging at station

18) Working of enquiry offices

19) Water Booths

20) Complaint against railway protection force (RPF) station



Step-4: 
After choosing the category, the sub-category has to be chosen. Incident date, details, name and contact number has to be filled. Once all the details are filled, we can add a picture (optional) and submit the same.



Step - 5: 
Once the complaint is submitted, unique complaint ID will be generated and the complaint will be transferred to the concerned official immediately for instant action. The updates regarding the complaints will be communicated via SMS.  



The Indian Railways has integrated the complaints received in all the modes with this single app based complaint system. Means, the other modes of complaint (Which is explained in the next part of this post)  are still accepted alongside this app based complaint redressal system.



Other modes of Complaints:



1)    Telephonic Complaints:

We can dial the below numbers based on the nature of complaints and lodge the complaint over phone.



Railway Helpline Numbers:



i) Medical Helpline:138

ii) PNR: 139

iii) RPF Helpline: 182

iv) Child Helpline: 1098

v) Train Accident Helpline: 1072

vi) Women's Helpline: 1091

vii) Vigilance HelpIine: 155210

viii) Clean My Coach: 58888

ix) Catering Complaint: 1800111321



2)    Complaints through Twitter:



Indian Railways is having different Twitter handles for different zones. Each such Twitter handle is very much active and responsive to our queries / complaints. 

There may be instances of delayed response / no-response. Still, in my personal experience, they are responding instantly. Raising a Complaint / query is as simple as posting a WhatsApp / FB status. 

All we have to do is to post the query / Complaint in Twitter by tagging the Twitter ID / Handles of Indian Railways.  The list of Twitter Handles are shared below:



List of TWITTER IDs / HANDLES of Indian Railways (For Chennai)



Common ID / Handle for all issues: @RailwaySeva


-----> General & service related issues <-----


  • GM of Southern Railways: @GMSRailway
  • For Service Deficiencies (Chennai Helpline): @MAS_138
  • Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai: @Drmchennai
  • Divisional Railway Manager, Salem : @SalemDRM
  • Divisional Railway Manager, Madurai : @drmmadurai
  • Divisional Railway Manager, Trichy : @Drmtpj
  • Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, Chennai: @srdme_mas


-----> Emergency Security Relayed Issues (RPF) <-----


  • RPF Southern Railway: @rpfsrly
  • RPF Chennai: @rpfsrmas
  • RPF Tambaram: @rpftambaram
  • RPF salem: @rpfsrsa
  • RPF Katpadi: @rpfkatpadi
  • RPF Jolarpettai: @rpfjolarpettai
  • RPF Madurai: @rpfsrmdu


This RailMadad app seems to be the easier mode when compared with the other two modes and it was clarified by the railways that all the modes of complaining will be effective and gradually, it will be shifted to the only mode of Complaint ie. Through this App.



Conclusion: This is a wonderful initiative, aims at ensuring the safety of the train passengers in just a click of the app! Do share it with your friends and relatives and lets make every smart phone users use this app during their train journey.

 


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Chennai MTC Bus Fares (Revised as at 20th Jan'18)




Chennai MTC Bus Fares - Revised 
(as at 20th Jan'18)

For the past two days, almost the entire city is talking about the one thing - The hike in the Bus Fare. The fares at which we are paying till 19th January 2018 was last revised on 18th November 2011. Since then, there hasn't been a revision in the bus fares. After some 7 long years, the bus fares have been revised with effect from 20th January 2018. 

Since there is no revision in the fares for the past 7 years and also the considerable increase in the fuel cost and other overheads, the fare revision looks inevitable for the Tamilnadu government. As such, the bus fares are hiked. Those who reads my blogs might remember that I have written a detailed blog post on stage wise tariff of MTC buses during June 2013. As the fares are revised, it necessitate me to write a post with the revised tariff of MTC buses. 

Chennai supposed to be the city which caters to the needs of almost everyone. When it comes to public transportation, our city is no less than any other city. Even when we have the cabs like Ola & Uber, the commuters who prefer to travel by bus are still large in numbers. There are few people like me, who always prefer to travel by bus over train. Even if I travel to same route which was covered by both Train & Bus, I prefer to go by bus. May be,  that's what makes me to write this post :) 

There has been a mixed reactions for the revision in the bus fare. I am sure the conductors are having the real tough time explaining the passengers about the increased bus fares. I found few passengers who are keen to know how the tickets are being priced. We do have people recharging their online wallets for their cab payments, the same people want to know the estimated tariff for their ride in such cabs. We are so much blessed with such a technology these days, but I would like to recap my childhood days where my parents and grandparents used to estimate the bus ticket cost well in advance, prior to stepping out of home and fill their wallet accordingly. As such, it will be good if we know the cost of bus ticket in advance. There are times, where we feel puzzled at the rate at which the ticket is being charged. Many of us don't know what is the bus fare and how it is being calculated. I have collected few details regarding bus fares, which I am posting here. These information are not the official one. So it may differ, but I cross checked the rates with the places I travelled, It was correct. 

Basically, the bus fare is calculated on the basis of the following things : 

  •  Area (Destination) &
  • Type of Bus (Ordinary , Express , Deluxe or Volvo)

Since the destination of the passenger can't be estimated for calculation, the area is being measured as STAGES in bus. As we travel in bus, we might see the bus halt and conductor term it as "Stage". A stage is approximately 2 Kilometers. As such, a single bus may have a maximum of 28 stages and the price of the tickets are being fixed on the number of stages we travel and the type of bus we travel. The rate chart / tariff for each type of bus is shared below: 

1) Ordinary Bus (White Board) - Base Fare:


Stage
Old Price
New Price
1
3.00
5.00
2
4.00
6.00
3
5.00
7.00
4
5.00
8.00
5
6.00
9.00
6
6.00
10.00
7
6.00
11.00
8
7.00
12.00
9
7.00
13.00
10
8.00
14.00
11
8.00
15.00
12
8.00
15.00
13
9.00
16.00
14
9.00
16.00
15
9.00
17.00
16
9.00
17.00
17
9.00
18.00
18
10.00
18.00
19
10.00
19.00
20
10.00
19.00
21
11.00
20.00
22
11.00
20.00
23
12.00
21.00
24
12.00
21.00
25
13.00
22.00
26
13.00
22.00
27
14.00
23.00
28
14.00
23.00


2) Express Bus (Green Board):

The express buses are charged as follows: 

1.5 times of the Ordinary Bus fare (Rounded off) + Re.1 towards Cess


Stage
Old Price
New Price
1
5.00
9.00
2
7.00
10.00
3
8.00
12.00
4
8.00
13.00
5
10.00
15.00
6
10.00
16.00
7
10.00
18.00
8
11.00
19.00
9
11.00
21.00
10
13.00
22.00
11
13.00
24.00
12
13.00
24.00
13
14.00
25.00
14
14.00
25.00
15
14.00
27.00
16
14.00
27.00
17
14.00
28.00
18
16.00
28.00
19
16.00
30.00
20
16.00
30.00
21
17.00
31.00
22
17.00
31.00
23
19.00
33.00
24
19.00
33.00
25
20.00
34.00
26
20.00
34.00
27
22.00
36.00
28
22.00
36.00



3) Delux Bus (Blue Board / LED Display):

The delux buses are charged as follows: 

2 times of the (Ordinary Bus fare + Re.1) + Re.1 towards Cess


Stage
Old Price
New Price
1
7.00
13.00
2
9.00
15.00
3
11.00
17.00
4
11.00
19.00
5
13.00
21.00
6
13.00
23.00
7
13.00
25.00
8
15.00
27.00
9
15.00
29.00
10
17.00
31.00
11
17.00
33.00
12
17.00
33.00
13
19.00
35.00
14
19.00
35.00
15
19.00
37.00
16
19.00
37.00
17
19.00
39.00
18
21.00
39.00
19
21.00
41.00
20
21.00
41.00
21
23.00
43.00
22
23.00
43.00
23
25.00
45.00
24
25.00
45.00
25
27.00
47.00
26
27.00
47.00
27
29.00
49.00
28
29.00
49.00
* A stage is approximately 2 Kilometers.

From the above tables / tariffs, we can get to know our ticket cost by comparing against the old rate. Please note that the old rates may differ due to rounding off. 

Example:

I usually travel from  Triplicane to Thirumangalam and the travel distance is 12.5 Kilometers. A stage is approximately 2 Kilometers, hence 12.5 KMs falls in Stage 7. Here is price they charge :

Ordinary Bus: 
Old Rate: Rs. 6,
Revised Rate: Rs.11 
(Check out the ordinary fares above for stage 7)

Express Bus: 
Old Rate: Rs. 10,
Revised Rate: Rs.18  [ (Rs.11  * 1.5) + Re.1 ]

Deluxe: 
Old Rate: Rs. 13,
Revised Rate: Rs.25  [ (Rs.11+1  * 2) + Re.1 ]

Distance Calculator:

We can calculate the distance between the two areas below - 
It shows the estimated distance in KMs, and we can find the stage based on the kilometer:
Google Maps Distance Matrix | http://sharp-coders.blogspot.com
Origins:

Destinations:


Distancef
Time
http://sharp-coders.blogspot.com



Conclusion: 

The tariff for bus passes and daily / weekly passes are not yet notified. I will update the post once it is notified. 

The rates mentioned in this post are calculated based on the data available in the MTC official website (www.mtcbus.org). The data as taken from the MTC website is presented in this blog for easy understanding for the commuters and to bring awareness on the rate revision. There might be the possibility of difference in rate due to rounding-off. For official data and latest revisions / amendments, please visit the MTC's official website www.mtcbus.org.