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Uttarakhand government to offer improved online helpline for Chardham Yatra pilgrims

The improved hi-tech online centralised customer care service this time will be different from the complaint redressal mechanism available on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, which was introduced some years back.

dehradun Updated: Apr 17, 2019 15:05 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
uttarakhand govt,chardham yatra,chardham yatra helpline
The Badrinath shrine in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district is one of the four shrines in the state form the Chardham Yatra. (HT File Photo )

The Uttarakhand government is set to introduce a vastly improved hi-tech online centralised customer care service to ensure a “safe and hassle-free journey” for lakhs of pilgrims ahead of the Chardham yatra that is expected to begin in the first week of May, an official said on Tuesday.

“The hi-tech online centralised customer care service we are going to introduce this time will be different from the complaint redressal mechanism available on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, which was introduced some years back,” said additional Chief Executive Officer, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB), C Ravi Shankar.

“The new online mechanism will be a centralised system, which will help redress grievances and complaints of yatris besides promptly answering their general queries and ensuring a safe and hassle-free journey once the pilgrimage starts,” he said.

“Under that system, not only will the services to be provided to yatris be prompt but those operating it will also ensure that once the issue is settled the quality of its disposal is also assessed.”

Shankar said multiple agencies like Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN), a development corporation that handles yatra packages, District Emergency Operation Centres (DEOCs) and 108 emergency mobile medical service would also be associated with the hi-tech centralised customer care service.

Elaborating, he said DEOCs are located in all the districts which form parts of the Chardham comprising the four fabled Himalayan shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri.

“Similarly, the108 emergency mobile medical service will also be promptly available for yatris in case of emergencies like road accidents or natural disasters,” the official said.

He said pilgrims in need of any service would be able to communicate their issues to the hi-tech online centralised customer care service via any of the social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp.

“Such a customer-friendly system is being put in place so that yatris could be provided prompt remedies to all issues they might face during the journey or any information they might need,” Shankar said.

Elaborating, he mentioned visitors’ complaints might relate to overcharging of services or they might have queries pertaining to helicopter packages.

“The hi-tech online customer care system will also promptly answer the simple queries the yatris may have about puja and the shrines which might form a part of their itinerary,” Shankar said, adding, the mechanism would also promptly answer their SOS calls or calls for help in case of natural disasters or accidents in hilly areas.

“Irrespective of the kind of complaints the customer care system will receive from yatris they would be promptly answered and all agencies concerned will be immediately pressed into service to help the visitors in distress,” he said referring to GMVN, DEOCs and the 108 Emergency Mobile Medical Service etc.

“It is in light of such frequently received complaints, grievances and issues faced by yatris that the government decided to launch the hi-tech online customer care service for them,” the official said.

He said that such a system “is being tried out and we hope it would evolve as per our expectations and will work in a robust manner”.

The state government had introduced its first online complaint redressal mechanism for the yatris visiting the Chardham after the cataclysmic floods struck the fabled religious destination in 2013, killing thousands of people.

“The hi-tech online customer care system we are going to launch is a much improved version of the complaint redressal mechanism,” Shankar clarified.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 15:05 IST