New Delhi: Railways enquiry number 139 recorded the highest ever 29.20 crore calls last year which translates to eight lakh calls a day.
North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkand contributed about 75 per cent of the total calls/SMS sent to the call centres, while English (16 per cent) remained the second preferred language for the railway commuters for seeking information, said Rail Sampark, the organisation which runs the service.
"Indian railways national enquiry number 139 has received a total 120 crore calls from railways passengers since its inception in July 2007. It received the highest about 29.20 crore phone calls last year recording an average of around 8 lakh calls per day," officials in the organisation said.
On the other hand, the SMS service received about 7.50 crore text messages last year registering around 2 lakh SMS per day.
"The service receives majority of the calls between 9 am and 9 pm, of which maximum calls are received between 2 pm and 8 pm," Rail Sampark said.
About the kind of information sought, it said, most of the passengers seek information on PNR status through phone on IVRS system while about 62 per cent seek information about confirmation of their seats.
Another 24 per cent passengers seek information about the arrival and departure of the trains, while the remaining 14 per cent seek information about accommodation and fare enquiry.
However the passengers using SMS service seek more detailed information on various topics.
Officials also said five per cent passengers send wrong SMS, which is about 10,000 wrong SMS per day and most of the SMS senders do not know how to write SMS using the proper syntax for getting the information.
The national enquiry number handles the call rush from four call centres set up at Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Noida, and Mysore, while the data centres are based at Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
The service, it said, provides information in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Oriya and Assamese but Hindi and English users avail the facility the most, it said.
The idea of 139 is to connect with masses, a service that is meant for all and is effectively and easily available round the clock.