Paying for a ticket and not receiving great services is disappointing. The Indian Railways has many remedies for this, in the form of ‘redressal’ measures, but there is no single platform that collects and updates them all. Finding a solution is difficult, when passengers don’t know where to start!
Well, we’re here to help. National Consumer Rights Day just went by (December 24), and this is the perfect time to inform you of your rights to redressal as a passenger. Using redressal tools, you can lodge complaints on improper food and water, lack of security, luggage loss, unhygienic conditions, and even staff behaviour on your train.
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A proactive traveller leads to an improved Railways. Here’s how you can do your bit:
RailMadad: the all-in-one portal
This is the easiest way to lodge a complaint with the Indian Railways. You can either download the app, or go to railmadad.indianrailways.gov.in. Redressal is under five broad categories—train complaints, station complaints, freight/parcel inquiry, tracking your concern and providing suggestions. The portal works for passengers travelling with both reserved and unreserved tickets.
Train complaints: You provide your PNR number and incident date, and then pick from any issues you faced related to catering, security, water, maintenance, medical assistance, cleanliness, bed rolls, staff behaviour, corruption and so on. A writing field allows you to explain your grievance in detail.
Station complaints: You provide your incident date and can then pick from issues related to ticketing, reservations, luggage, passenger amenities, ticket refunds, and a host of other options.
Freight/parcel inquiry: You provide your inquiry date and submit either a luggage/parcel inquiry, or a goods inquiry.
All three complaint types can be tracked with a reference number.
Ask DISHA: for live queries
A voice-enabled chatbot, DISHA (Digital Interaction to Seek Help Anytime) is available on indianrail.gov.in and irctc.co.in. Its pop-up chat box offers instant information on reservations, cancellations, fares, PNR and services such as retiring rooms and IRCTC kitchens.
Coach Mitra: for on-demand cleaning & maintenance
This facility is available on running trains that have on board housekeeping services (OBHS). While they are meant to clean coaches twice a day, you can also submit an unscheduled cleaning request using the Coach Mitra app, website, or SMS.
For the website, visit coachmitra.indianrail.gov.in, and submit your PNR number, mobile number, and the required service. You’ll also find SMS instructions there. Options include pest control, linen/bed roll issues, train lighting and AC problems, among others.
Registering phone complaints
> 139 (toll-free): This integrated helpline includes enquiries on safety, medical and accident information; catering information; filing corruption complaints; securing parcel/freight train information; vigilance complaints; or talking to customer executives. Support is available in 12 languages, and doesn’t require a smartphone for use.
> +91 755-6610661, +91 755-4090600 for Indian Railways customer care
> 011-39340000, 011-23340000 for IRCTC customer support
> 1323 for e-catering
> 9004499773 for the Western Railway (Whatsapp)
> 9987645307 for the Central Railway (Whatsapp)
In the rare scenario that none of the above works, you can lodge a complaint about your experience in the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS). Visit pgportal.gov.in, and register as a user to lodge grievances, view redressal methods or contact nodal grievance officers.
We hope our users find this guide useful! Have you used any of these portals or helplines before? Let us know 🙂
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