May 21, 2013

'Railways must act regularly on complaints'

MUMBAI: The high levels of dissatisfaction among commuters about passenger amenities can be explained by a finding of the MRVC survey itself: nearly 52% of those interviewed were unhappy with the complaint-handling mechanism of the railways.

"In the electricity supply laws, there is provision that the firms should have an internal grievance mechanism system. Indian Railways should have this kind of a system in place so that complaints can be handled efficiently and solution found to problems," said Shirish Deshpande of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.

A senior railway official conceded that passenger grievances should be taken more seriously. "A railway official's mind is conditioned to think that his only priority is operation of trains and safety. We have set up helpline numbers, SMS system and also keep complaint books at various stations. But a review is needed to find out the efficacy of the system."

Many commuters claimed that their complaints regarding cleanliness of toilets on platforms, pestering by beggars and eunuchs, faulty passenger display systems and such like go unattended.

"The authorities invariably call from head office to acknowledge the receipt of a complaint. But that does not result in resolution of a problem. The railways needs to devise a system to punish non-performing officials," said activist Anil Galgali.

Manthan K Mehta/TNN

Mumbai: The answer to higher rate of dissatisfaction among commuters about poor standards of public amenities can be found in the survey that was carried out on behalf of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation.

The survey states that nearly 52 per cent of those interviewed were unhappy with Complaint handling mechanism of railways.

Shirish Deshpande, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat said, "In the electricity act, there is provision that the firms should have internal grievance mechanism system. The Indian railways should also have this kind of system in place so that the complaints can be handled efficiently and solution found to problems."

A senior railway official conceded that the railway administration need take passenger grievances more seriously. He said, "A railway officials mind is conditioned to think that his only priority is operational of train and its safety. We do have set up help line numbers, SMS system and also keep complaint book at various stations and with stations managers. A review needs to undertaken to find out the efficacy of this sytem."

Many commuter claimed that their complaints regarding cleanliness on platform toilets, beggars, passenger display system, go unattended.

Railway activist Anil Galgali said, "The authorities invariably call from head office to acknowledge the receipt of a complaint. However, the acknowledgement of a complaint does not result in the resolution of the problem. The railways need to devise a system to punish the bad officials, besides taking quick action in resolving the complaint."

Another railway official said, "The railway officials work under several constraint. For example, we do not have adequate funds, besides there is also shortage of staff. Unless, these problems are resolved, the complaint mechanism system is bound to remain short of expectation.
Source - timesofindia

RPF union secretary general serves defamation notice to CBI chief

The secretary general of the All Indian Railway Protection Force Association has sent a defamation notice to CBI director Ranjit Sinha on the charge of making false allegations against him.

He has asked for Rs. 51 lakh and an unconditional apology from Sinha within seven days for defaming him or else he would initiate criminal and civil proceedings against him.

The CBI had complained to the railway board that RPF association secretary general US Jha for occupying three official accommodations in alleged violation of service rules.

The agency also claimed that sharing any information about the misuse of public money for necessary action by the concerned department is a normal practice and duty of the CBI. The agency had denied any charge of vendetta.

But Jha claims that when Ranjit Sinha was serving as director general of the RPF, he had leveled serious charges of corruption against the officer.

According to Jha, he had also made written complaint against Sinha to the minister of railways on May 16, 2011. Besides, he made two more complaints against Sinha on June 20, 2011 and on August 3, 2012 against Sinha.

Sinha served as the DG of the RPF between November 12, 2008 and May 19, 2011.

In his legal notice, Jha said that there was no misuse of accommodations as they were allotted to the association by the railway ministry. He has given details of all accommodations allotted to the RPF association.
Source - hindustantimes.

Japan shows interest in funding Lucknow metro

LUCKNOW: Japan's financial institution, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has shown interest in funding the upcoming metro project in Lucknow. The agency was also interested in offering financial assistance in Lucknow-Agra expressway project. 

The officials from Japan's agency had a meeting with chief secretary, Jawed Usmani on Monday for discussing the drinking water project in Agra. JICA's officials offered help to fund other projects in UP too. Usmani said that if JICA gives a formal proposal on funding the metro and expressway project, the state government can consider the implementation of these projects. Prior to this, even World Bank has given assurance to the state government for financial assistance for these projects. 

Both projects require around Rs 12 crore. The projects have been in the pipeline for years as the government is unable to fund these on its own. Some sort of relief is also expected from the central government but nothing concrete has come out so far. In such a situation, JICA's assurance can bring some relief to UP government to fulfil its dream project. 

For the Lucknow-Agra expressway project, the developer has to be selected. Around 15 odd firms have shown interest in this project. Their queries have been answered and now they have to formally apply for it. For further planning, the chief secretary would soon hold a meeting with the officials of industrial development department. 

There is also a proposal to fund the metro project through proposed developments on Chak Gajaria farms.
Source - timesofindia





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