Jul 112017

Travelling in a train? Just tweet your complaint and get quick help

The Indian Railways has started a new complaint redressal system which is committed to cater all the grievances of rail users in the country. Under the initiative of the Hon’ble Railway Minister of India, Shree Suresh Prabhu, the Indian Railways has launched a Twitter complaint management system which will look after all the complaints that are raised by general public, especially rail commuters at large.

Recently, the Indian Railways has formed dedicated Twitter team which will work for 27 * 7 to scrutinize all the tweets that are received on the official Twitter page of Indian Railways or the Twitter handle of the Railways Minister, who is very socially active on Twitter. The responsibility to handle all the tweets coming on these accounts is actually outsourced to one agency which has professional social networking agents working in shift to go through almost 15 thousand tweets on daily basis and choose those which are actionable.

traveling in a train, Tweet Your Complaint And Get quick help

Shedding the unresponsive work culture

It is high time to shed the lumbering tag of the Indian Railways by solving passenger’s grievances and fix their problems in short span of time. With the increased use of social networking in Indian Railways to connect with the citizens in an efficient manner and bring out a productive railway system, several social networking platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are being widely used. Now, with a fully dedicated team working 24*7 to answer and act on the thousands of tweets that are either received directly, or being tagged, the grievance redressal mechanism of this PSU has become much stronger and efficient. Gone are those days of sending an official e-mail or complaint and waiting for its redressal.

Twitter handles of Indian Railways

On an average, the Indian Railways gets more than 15,000 tweets on its account @RailMinIndia, regarding several categories like food quality, service, complaints specific to booking, refunds, etc. Below are the two official Twitter accounts, which are verified by Twitter, and are used by Indian Railways to register and act on complaints, feedbacks and suggestions by general public:

  1. @RailMinIndia – This is the official Twitter account of Railways Ministry which has a follower count of more than 2.74 million. It has started operating since the month of July, 2014.
  2. @sureshpprabhu – This account is the official Twitter handle of Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu. With its operation since May, 2010, it has a wider follower reach of almost 3 million.

What is working mechanism ?

The workflow of the entire complaint management system of Twitter might seem easy on pen and paper, but the mechanism to deal with the passengers’ complaints is quite critical which requires efficient and dedicated professionals handling the Twitter accounts 24*7. Below is the work flow of this complaint management system:

  1. A complaint / feedback are received on any of the Twitter accounts operated by Indian Railways. On a daily basis, more than 15 thousand such tweets are received on the main account of Indian Railways i.e. @RailMinIndia.
  2. Out of these tweets, the Twitter team deployed sorts all the tweets as per their priority and importance. Nearly 2,500 tweets are such, which are actionable per day.
  3. A software mechanism identifies the key words within the tweets and sorts them as per priority. The actionable tweets are groups into three parts viz. low priority, medium priority and high priority. Suppose, any passenger who has tweeted for urgent need of medical attention will be given top priority where as a complaint regarding a lost baggage is marked as medium / low priority.
  4. Every tweet which is actionable is registered with the complaint management software, each with a unique ticket ID.
  5. This ticket is only marked as closed / resolved if the action taken is satisfactory and the complainant sends ‘thanks’ for the job done.
  6. If the complaint has gravity and needs to be sent to the concerned department, then necessary information like PNR number / Train number is collected and the same is redirected to the Twitter account of the concerned division. All the managers of Divisional Railway are on Twitter who checks their accounts for any tweets/complaints/tickets under their jurisdiction.
  7. If any further action if done by DRM against a ticket, the system intimates a higher official regarding this non-action, with the help of SMS intimation.
  8. The software which handles all the complaints over Twitter keeps tag of all the timings of receiving the complaint, time of sending it to the concerned department and the action initiate or resolution of the ticket.
  9. After proper redressal of the grievance, the complainant is informed with the help of Twitter regarding the action taken by Indian Railways or any further assistance.

Few examples of complaints by passengers over Twitter and their resolutions

  • A passenger made a complaint on Twitter regarding a non-functioning of a mobile charging point in one super fast express. Within 15 minutes, he got a response from the Twitter team of Indian Railways which enquired for the PNR no. The problem was fixed within an hour.
  • Another passenger with Twitter handle @anushku824 made a request of urgent medical help, which was resolved by tracking the PNR number / Train number within less than 1 hour.
  • One complaint came from @DebroyAtanu on Twitter for overcharging of railway food and was resolved then and here by the Railways.

Other Complaint Systems of Indian Railways

Not just Twitter, the Indian Railways have developed a robust complaint management system with several channels. These are mentioned below:

  1. 138 Railway Helpline– On an average, 6,000 calls are received daily.
  2. IVRS – More than 1.2 lakh passengers use this IVRS feature to provide necessary feedback.
  3. Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMs) – This is a centralized grievance redressal system with more than 200 complaints per day.
  4. COMS – This mechanism works on the complaints/feedbacks received on SMS and by Android app. Average 350 complaints are received daily.
  5. Facebook – The official Facebook page handle more than 500 complaints/ feedbacks on daily basis.


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