BENGALURU: In a helpful gesture, staff at the parcel office of Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station have, of their own initiative, started sending messages or calling the public, whose parcels or two-wheelers reach the city on trains.
No one is quite sure when this began, but it has definitely saved many from paying demurrage — the penalty for delayed collection — of a vehicle, which is Rs 250 for every 24 hours.
M Raju, a coolie who works for KSB Company, the firm which has been outsourced the job of parcel delivery, was entrusted with sending text messages after parcels reach the parcel office (situated at the far end of Platform 1) from various platforms. “We can do this only if the cover on the vehicle or parcel bears the mobile number of the individual authorised to collect it. People are very happy about the alert,” Raju told TNIE.
Among those who were collecting their vehicles at the parcel office on Saturday were Varadha Krishna, a mechanical engineer in Bengaluru, whose two-wheeler came from Hyderabad. Krishna said, “It was very useful. I got a message about the arrival of my vehicle, along with a number to be contacted. I didn’t have to worry about my luggage.”
“It was nice to get a call alerting me about the arrival of my two-wheeler from Madurai. I had reached the
station in anticipation of my vehicle, but it still helps to have confirmed information,” said R Raja, another satisfied customer.V Srinivas (name changed on request) said this was a much-needed measure.“There were times when I had booked luggage which was to reach me from different stations, and would keep visiting the parcel office to check if my parcels had arrived. It was a pleasant surprise to get the call. I am used to this from private firms like Amazon or Flipkart, it was totally unexpected from the Railways,”
Parcel office supervisor GA Mohan Sundaram told TNIE that the move has been well-received by the public. “I often get messages of gratitude from them. It also helps us as people collect their parcels faster when they get a reminder,”he said.
The parcel office at KSR is extremely busy, he adds. “We get 80 to 90 two-wheelers a day on trains, apart from an average of 1,600 parcels from across the country. Fish in ice containers, garments and household materials are regularly transported,” Sundaram said.
A penalty has to be paid in case of delayed collection on parcels booked on trains,effective April 15, 2010. In case of two-wheelers, the first six hours are not charged.One needs to pay Rs 10 for every hour after that. For a full day, the charge is Rs 250,he explained. The rate for parcels is lower: Free up to 10 hours, Rs 1 per 50kg beyond that.