Passengers may soon have access to one-man complaint redressal cells on-board trains, if a set of recommendations by a railway committee is approved by the Railway Board. The suggestion of deputing in a train a ‘service captain’ identifiable by his uniform to address problems of passengers was made in a report of a committee of senior officers formed by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal after a meeting with all zonal heads last December.
The report, a copy of which is with PTI, has been submitted to the board and suggests that the national transporter provide a single window supervision for all on-board amenities for swift resolution of passengers complaints and issues. “A railway supervisor, ‘service captain’ be deputed on all mail and express trains… Every division should form a pool of on board supervisors…,” the report said.
Explaining the logic behind having a single in-charge for all passenger-related issues on a running train, the report said that while railways operated a number of on-board services in trains, passengers are currently expected to contact different personnel for each of these services. “There is hence a need for ensuring availability of a single supervisor to coordinate the above on-board services and one who can be approached by customers as a single window for all types of available on board services,” the report said.
It also said that such service captains should be appointed for a minimum of two years from among serving employees of the level of junior engineer or master craftsman by a committee of senior officials of the division. The duties of the service captain include supervising of cleaning, coordinating with different department regarding complaints of linen, repairs and operational issues, supervise coach maintenance issues such as missing passenger amenity items, issues of berths, windows, doors and pest and rodent control issues.
The committee has also recommended that the service captain be given a ‘pre-defined’ dress so that he can be easily recognised and a set of hand tools and tool kit to assist him in attending to his job. “A tailor-made training module along with competency certification at the senior scale level so that the service captain is adequately trained for the above duties,” the report stated.
The committee has also suggested that since the deployment of service captains would require significant input of men, the scheme should be introduced in a phased manner in 10 select trains in at least four zonal railways as a pilot project first.