Indian Railways issue ticket without passengers' name in it land people in great trouble!
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Ticket No. 97216219 (PNR No. 655-3168407) was booked by me from Sonarpur Railway Station, Kolkata for journey to Vizag on 7.10.2016. I had filled in the form for booking ticket in the name of S. K. Deb (self), Sanchali Deb (my wife) and Sujata Deb (my daughter). Since the tickets were issued to me without mentioning name of passengers on the ticket, I had no means to verify whether the name was correctly mentioned / spelled in the ticket.
2. During the journey, when the TTE came to check the tickets and cross-checked the same with my identity card, I was told that according to the chart he was carrying, the ticket was booked in the name of S. K. Das but naturally my identity card showed that I am S. K. Deb. The TTE was suspicious about impersonation. At the same time, there was no fault on my part as there was no way for me to detect the mistake beforehand. As a result, I was subjected to few uncalled for questioning and had to face some unnecessary harassment. I felt humiliated.
3. Therefore, I had registered a complaint vide COMPLAINT REGISTRATION NO. W/SE/KGP/000160950 DATED 18.10.2016. But, when I wanted to check the status of the complaint, the response I got was “No Complaints Found". Even today, the status is the same. Later on, I had downloaded the mobile App and referred the matter through the App quoting the Complaint Registration Number. Then only I received a response stating that the (a) matter relating to issuance of ticket is being looked into with the Sonarpur Station (b) and the question of changing the system has been referred to the appropriate authority.
4. Then on 25.10.2016, I had received a telephone call reportedly from the Station Master, Sonarpur Station. He apologized for the mistake committed by the booking clerk. When I said that my main concern is on the defective system whereby the customer is kept in the dark about the name against whom the ticket is being issued and that I wanted to follow up the matter with the higher authorities, he told me that he will come to meet me on the next day i.e on 26.10.2016 at my residence. I had requested him to come with an email address so that I can send email to the higher authority. However, the Station Master has not turned up till date.
5. My main concerns are as follows:
a) When a passenger books a ticket, he is entitled to know whether a valid ticket has been issued to him or not. But, in the present system the Railway is following, it deprives the passenger this right because name of the passenger is not reflected on the ticket. If any mistake like name is committed at the time of issuance of ticket, it can be detected by the passenger only when the chart is displayed just before departure of the train. At that time, the passenger has no recourse left to get it rectified – as had happened in my case described above. Thus, the present system of issuing tickets by the Railway is depriving the passengers the legitimate right to know whether he has been issued a valid ticket or not. The concerned authorities must appreciate this lacuna and rectify the gap expeditiously.
b) The grievance redressal system needs review. Obviously, there is some defect for which “No Complaint Found” is displayed on status inquiry.
c) Moreover, except the Complaint Registration Number, there is no need to furnish other details like Name, Contact No. It must be simplified.
d) Indian Railways seem to be reluctant to entertain email from public. It is very difficult to get email addresses of the authorities and THEIR emails are from “do not reply” email ids. I could get email ID of DRM KHARAGPUR after great difficulty and finally after second tweet to @sureshpprabhu.
e) Numerous emails, tweets including one to “firstname.lastname@example.org” have remained un-responded. The authorities must be responsive.
I would request the appropriate of the Railway Department to take corrective action on each of the points highlighted above particularly about mentioning name on the passengers in tickets, so that in my next travel by train I do not have to carry the fear with me of facing similar unpleasant experience.
All future passengers will benefit from the changes when these would be carried out by the Railway authorities.
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