FIR on the move: Phone helpline a hit with railway passengers

  • Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 01, 2015 00:12 IST

The Delhi Police’s ‘FIR on the phone’ initiative has received a thumbs-up from the people, especially train passengers.

The facility was launched so that people on the move, while travelling in trains and otherwise, could register their complaints with the police without having to locate or visit a police station.

The facility was launched by the Delhi Police in association with their railway counterparts, the GRP. According to the Delhi Police, the facility will be provided to Delhi Metro commuters also.

“Usually, a passenger travelling in train has no wherewithal to know which police station will have jurisdiction to register his/her complaint and that is why most cases went unnoticed. We have prepared a form, which is more or less like an FIR, and given it to our control room staff. Whenever a complainant calls the control room, he/she is asked a set of questions. After noting details, our staff calls them back to confirm that the passenger wants to register a FIR. Through this simple process we are able to help the complainant,” said Sanjay Bhatia, DCP (railway).

The helpline 1512 is now functional at New Delhi railway station and the Delhi Police have made it a national helpline by taking Railway Protection Force (RPF) on board. The soft launch was done in May and Delhi Police was trying since last year to bring other states on board.

“Most of the calls are about theft and we are advertising our helpline through posters so that more people can reach us,” Bhatia said. The government railway police (GRP) and RPF look after the overall security of trains and stations but the local police also check criminal activities.

“Railway is an important installation and apart from taking a stock of security at these stations, we also need to address concerns of passengers. During our interaction with passengers, the need for a helpline was felt and we contacted the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for four-digit number,” said Bhatia. The helpline is now a national helpline and through geo-fencing, the Delhi Police have ensured that all calls land in the control room.

Considering the heavy volume of passenger traffic at five railway stations in the Capital, the Delhi Police have asked the railway authorities to provide them space so that they can install a booth.

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