Railways’ Twitter handle a contact point with public

According to a railway official, a dedicated team of 150 staffers across 68 divisions of the Indian Railways keep a close watch on passengers’ messages and resolve their woes within a stipulated time period.

Ministry of Railways’ Twitter handle has become a major contact point between the Railways and passengers, with the handle receiving as many as 6,500 tweets from the public every day, seeking solutions to the problems they face on board.

Tweets by passengers at the Twitter handle @RailMinIndia are immediately followed by a response from the authorities. The complaint is forwarded to the concerned railway official of the division/zone and efforts are made to resolve it.

The handle @RailMinIndia has over 2.7 million followers. Till now, it has received about 3.78 lakh tweets.

Most of the complaints pertain to poor quality of food served, dirty linen and compartments, overpriced meals, and lack of water facility inside the coaches. In one of the tweets, a passenger had asked the authorities to fix the charging point. 

Apart from complaining about the lack of amenities, passengers also tweet about errant staff. In one such tweet, a passenger had complained about the ticket checker accepting bribe and giving away a seat to a passenger on the waiting list.

According to a railway official, a dedicated team of 150 staffers across 68 divisions of the Indian Railways keep a close watch on passengers’ messages and resolve their woes within a stipulated time period. This special cell to monitor social media interaction was established in July 2015.

“Out of 6,500 tweets that we have received so far, 3,000 were in the form of complaints, all of which have been resolved. Soon after being notified about a new tweet, the social media team gets in action to address the complaints after verifying the passengers. The messages are then forwarded to the respective divisions for further action,” he said.

Tweets are classified as critical, non-critical, suggestions and others. For every actionable tweet, a ticket is opened and each ticket is monitored at various stages in the system until it is resolved. Critical tweets are communicated via SMS or phone call. 

A station master told on the condition of anonymity: “We have to be on our toes all the time. At times, we even receive tweets from the ministry to provide help to passengers.”

Under the medium-term plan, the Ministry of Railways plans to integrate feedback from all customer channels. An integrated customer complaint system consisting of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and CP Gram is being developed.