Instant help on running trains for harassed women

The railway ministry plans to start an sms and online complaint service to check harassment of women passengers

brajesh

Brajesh Kumar | February 4, 2010


Women passengers in a Mumbai`s suburban train
Women passengers in a Mumbai`s suburban train

Poonam Singh, a 25 year old Delhi-based environment consultant, more often than not avoids travelling alone on train from Delhi to Patna, her home town. Having heard a number of stories of crime against women on running trains, she does not want to take any risk.

Not any longer.

The Indian Railways is in the process of launching an sms and online complaint service wherein help will arrive within minutes.

SMS and online complaint service is part of an integration project of the railways with an aim to provide all services through one web portal.

While the web portal will become operational in next six months, the complaint system is likely to be up sooner.

The sms which can be sent on 139, the general train enquiry number, will first go to the complaint receiving cell based in New Delhi, then to the divisional complaint cell based at the division in which the train is running and then to the station officials. The station officials will then direct the police escort team travelling in the train, which will come to the aid of the person lodging the complaint.

The complaint can similarly be lodged through internet.

With the number of cases of crime against women in running train on the rise, the sms-online complaint system will prove to be a boon for them, says a railway official.  While 177 cases were reported in 2008, the number increased to 199 in 2009. 

The project to integrate all railway services through a single window was conceived about a year ago. Once the web portal is operational, it will be possible to conduct any transaction through one website.

At present, the railway has 32 different websites.

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