The Central Railway (CR) could not use its bulk text messaging service (SMS) to inform commuters about a prolonged mega block over the last week because it has not renewed its arrangement with the SMS service operator.
The commuters were troubled by train delays because the Thane yard was being remodelled between December 28 and January 4.
According to sources, the SMS service has not been working since June because the contract for running the service has not been revised after the earlier service provider terminated the agreement before the stipulated term of two years.
The CR did not appoint another contractor and suffered a major blow during the recent mega block. The SMS service has been in place at both CR and WR since 2009. The two together have more than one lakh registered commuters.
Not only have passenger associations and public representatives blamed the railway for lack of communication with the commuters, but so has railway board chairman Vijay Mittal
"Passengers have to register to get real time information about any problem but the railway authorities do not provide information about delays or disruptions," said Subhash Gupta, member of National Railway User's Consultative Committee.
However, CR claims it informed commuters through other means. "We published information in newspapers about remodelling work," said a CR spokesperson.