This is to draw the kind attention of competent authorities in Indian Railways.
I, on behalf of student community, and as a proud and aware citizen of India, want to draw the attention of proper and competent authorities towards the fraud and corruption looming large in IRCTC catered service which is leading to the plight of passengers, especially those travelling in Sleeper Class. I'm also incorporating some suggestions, which if implemented will result in better customer satisfaction.
1. Water: As far as I know, it was made mandatory that IRCTC would sell only Rail Neer branded mineral water bottles in the train. May be I'm wrong about this fact, I've experienced personally that the water/drink vendors are selling all brand waters except Rail Neer. I ask for Rail Neer and they say, it's not available, take Bailey or IceLing or Yes. I won't mind if the quality of water is good for the same price of Rs.12. But, the striking thing I saw that those small kids, powered by a racket of anti-social people, who collect thrown water bottles from railway track on stations, fill water from anywhere they like, get it sealed and pass to the IRCTC approved vendors. The vendors as well as the racket involved in this share half of the revenues. What the customer is getting? Unhygienic water in unhygienic bottles paying Rs.12. The mistake is from customer side also. As mentioned on the bottles please DO CRUSH THE BOTTLE AFTER USE IF YOU AREN"T CARRYING IT HOME. This is for your own good dear common man!
2. Tatkal Seva: Your tatkal reservation scheme is completely wtf!!! The first and foremost thing is that, at 8AM IST irctc.co.in stops responding so internet reservation is next to impossible for the stupid common man. What I see is 503 SERVICE UNAVAILABLE. Now, you railway guys would say that you can get the reservation on the station. Ok, I agree. But see what happens. When I reach the station at 7:00 AM and stand in the queue, I see at least 20 people ahead of me. I repeated the same experiment next day at 6:00AM. Then too I had at least 15 people ahead of me. So, I thought let me be a good citizen and wait for my turn. Finally I reached to the front of the queue at about 8:10 and the teller told me the status is W/L 60. What the -? A man roaming like a pig in the vicinity came to me and offered the ticket for Rs.1200. I identified him and was surprised that he was in the queue when I had reached there at 6AM. I refused and headed towards exit without getting a ticket. During the next 20 meters of walking I was offered ticket for prices ranging from Rs.900 to Rs.1200. And they were all those who were in the queue at 6AM. To sum up, there is a racket which keeps its agents at stations from time varying between 4AM and 6AM to be in the queue for tatakal tickets for most sought for destinations. How can you control this blackmarketing?? Can't you get your IRCTC server right, so that people may get tatkal e-tickets? And then it will be very difficult to black e-tickets because the traveller has to present his/her ID card with name matching with the name on the e-ticket and reservation chart. This step will put a check on those ticket blackmarketer rackets. All the crap in your tatkal seva is especially frustrating students and other people who get to travel urgently very often.
3. Recently you've introduced the fares in front of each train in the list of trains that come up when anyone queries for Availability of seats(in case you don't know station codes) on indianrailways.gov.in. One suggestion from me, can't you show the availability as well along with the fair? If you can't, then freaking upgrade your servers and start doing right away you public money looters!!!
4. On indianrail.gov.in, any action I perform, even clicking a text box to put the cursor into it, results into opening up of an ad from admagnet.com. Have you designed the site for public convenience or public harassment??? You earn from our ticket fares and you the greedy lot want to earn more and more by giving us inconvenience in the form of those nasty popups??? And who the freaking fool gave you WebRatna-2009 award for public service? 'sab ek hee thaili ke chatte batte hain'. Cut this crap in good faith right away!!!
5. This is for Mrs. Mamta Banerjee, honourable Rail Minister. Lalu uncle did only one good reform during his tenure, and that was putting up a middle berth between side upper and side lower berths in sleeper class. It was itching you at the back, and you got all those removed saying that this causes inconvenience to passengers. Have you ever travelled in sleeper class? The people in the waiting list travel by sleeping in front of lavatory doors and in the space between the entry gates of every boggy. Thats not inconvenience according to you. Right? And sleeping on the side middle berth is inconvenience according to you. Very good IQ you have ma'm! Salutes to you! If there had been this, side middle berth thingy, per boggy 8 passengers and per train more than 100 waitlisted passengers would get a confirmed berth to sleep in the night, instead of laying their bedsheets below water basin between the two gates in every boggy.
6. This mobile charging point thing, at the gates of every boggy in sleeper class has become a menace. Rogues only charge their mobiles. They start the travel with their mobile's batteries discharged thinking 'Bhartiya rail hamari sampatti hai'. This is total inconvenience to the needy passengers who don't want to talk to those rogues. Can't you get those charging points in every compartment, just like they are in AC boggies?
7. This one is for Amul. Have you guys ever thought that why Pepsi/Coke/Thumsup/Sprite sell 100 times more than your lassi, in trains even though your lassi is tastier and nourisher than those MNC carbonated water? Give a thought! Lower your prices. You are selling them at Rs.20 for 200ml. They sell for Rs.10 for 200ml. Can't you lower your prices? Don't say that it won't be affordable for you. Nandini lassi in Karnataka is available for Rs.5 for 200ml. Instead of trying to earn more by higher margins per unit, you should keep lower margins and sell more units instead. This will give you better returns. I hate those cola companies who are drawing Indian water and selling to Indians for high prices.
I'll keep coming up with more whenever I feel like finding something new with Railways.