Lucknow: Allahabad High Court has said that the railways should put in place a system for making distress call through SMS and other mobile applications.
"Railways should implement short messaging service (SMS) as well as push button for making distress calls. They have expressed some practical difficulties in implementing it. Let Director RDSO appear on the next date to discuss difficulties and expenditure involved in the project," a bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Saxena and Rakesh Srivastava said.
"What we want is that complaint can be made through text messages/WhatsApp on the helpline of the board 1322. Railways may also consider a plan to give helpline numbers on the reverse side of tickets," it added.
The Lucknow bench of the court gave the directions on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding safety and security of the railway passengers.
The court also said that the railways have floated a round-the-clock security helpline number, 1322, in pursuance of its earlier order but it was not "working effectively".
"Control room set up for this purpose does not seem to be equipped with necessary infrastructure and the personnel manning it do not have good knowledge. On making calls on this number satisfactory replies are not given," the bench observed.
"We direct the railways to give wide publicity to the helpline number 1322. Railway Board shall also make it available in other divisions of the state and ensure that it functions properly and effectively," the bench directed.
The court said that women helpline number, 1090, launched by Uttar Pradesh police was working effectively.
"IG Navneet Sikera, who has done a commendable job in this respect, is requested to appear on the next date of hearing for his inputs on making 1322 a more reliable and effective tool," the court said.
The court also said that the railways would also permit GRP and RPF to paste the helpline numbers at various places inside the coach and on conspicuous places at railway platform.
"Railways is directed to ensure that guards do not permit any male passengers inside railway compartment reserved for women," it said.