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Railway enquiry services to be integrated

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, DEC. 22. The Railways will soon have one telephone number countrywide to answer all rail service enquiries. This will follow integration of train enquiry services in the country into one single platform of common telephone number 139, a computer server-based Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) provided with an adequate number of lines. To increase the availability of this service to larger users, the enquiry system will work as a call centre within one BSNL basic circle. This new concept will make 139 accessible to all telephone landlines, WLL and mobile users in one telecom circle without prefixing the STD codes within such circle to make it a local call.

Call centres

Two such call centres have been commissioned at Patna and Bangalore on November 29 with 240 lines each with a capacity to handle 1,00,000 calls daily. Apart from the automatic IVRS, which will provide Passenger Numerical Record (PNR) status, accommodation availability, train arrival/departure information, 12 agents will man the call centres to provide more user-specific information. This system, if successful, will be extended across the Indian Railways at every BSNL circle to provide a unified three-digit Railway Enquiry System through advanced computer-based IVRS to users.

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