The railway police in Delhi is having a tough time as a bulk of phone calls — about 80 per cent — on its helpline per day is related to requests for pizza delivery, mobile recharges or other such trivial matters.
The Delhi Railway Police Control Room receives 200 phone calls on an average on its 1512 helpline daily, and during 80 per cent of such calls, passengers either request the staff to get eatables such as pizzas and burgers delivered to them or enquire about railway jobs, police said on Sunday.
“Get my phone recharged, get pizza delivered, I want two burgers, tea, juices, cold water are some of the demands the passengers make,” a senior police officer said.
There are also passengers who seek police assistance in getting their electricity bill paid or train tickets booked.
The 1512 helpline, set up to help passengers register their complaints with police when travelling in a train or to report incidents of crime at railway stations, was launched in 2015.
The railway police helpline is a nationwide number. But most of the time, instead of treating it as a helpline for police assistance, it is considered as railway enquiry, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) Dinesh Kumar Gupta said.
However, through booklets and pamphlets, the Delhi Railway Police is creating awareness among passengers to seek police assistance in case of any difficulty or emergency, they can dial 1512 to report any crime, the officer said.
According to police, people are not really aware of the purpose of the helpline and make unnecessary requests. It’s the staff deployed at railway police control room who are having a tough time in dealing with such callers round the clock. Passengers also place requests to get their train stopped in case they get late in reaching their station.
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Even though the number of productive calls is less, the staff deployed at the railway police control room attend every call and provide assistance to passengers in case of any emergency.
Constable Kiran deployed at the Railway police control room said she hardly gets productive calls and most of the calls she attends are to seek assistance for phone-recharge, to get the SIM card unlocked, get net pack recharged round the clock.
“We also receive such junk calls from Gurgaon and Ghaziabad. If the call is worthy and genuine, we direct the call to the concerned control rooms of the nearest railway police station or police teams on-board the trains for action on complaints”, a senior police officer said.
The officer added that even if they find it difficult to deal it with such junk calls, they answer every single call politely.
“We deal with such calls politely. We tell them it’s not a hotel service that you place an order and get food delivered. We don’t provide such facilities. We explain to them the purpose of the helpline and guide them to seek police assistance if they want to report any theft, quarrel, fight, crime or difficulty, he said.
However, some people express anguish and even abuse the staff. Callers also get annoyed if their demands are not catered too, police said.