Reporter's Diary

Get out, get in

The absence of adequate supervision over MTC services seems to be taking its toll on hapless commuters. The other day the conductor of bus route number 21 (Mandaveli to Parrys)ordered all those who boarded the bus from the front exit to alight and get in through the rear entrance and buy tickets from him.

Though the driver stopped the bus between the Royapettah Hospital and Clock Tower to issue tickets, ahead of the fare stage, the conductor did not move from his seat. At the Royapettah Hospital stop, he made it clear that those who had boarded using the front exit should alight and get the tickets from him. A youth got down, went up to the conductor and purchased the ticket. A few women got tickets by passing on the fare through co-passengers.

Left in the lurch

Passengers of Chennai - Mumbai CST Express had anxious moments at Chennai Central on Monday when there was no proper announcement on rescheduling of the train, which is normally scheduled to leave Central at 11.45 a.m. When the passengers waited for empty rake at the station an announcement was made around 11 a.m. stating that the train was rescheduled to leave at 1 p.m. When the passengers approached the station authorities they were told that there was some difficulty in getting the rake as coaches meant for the train were allotted for some other train. Even at 12.30 p.m. there was no information about the departure . Around 12.50 p.m. an announcement was made through the public address system that the train had been again rescheduled to leave at 2.30 p.m. Much to the relief of passengers, the train departed around 3 p.m. .

Missing numbers

Many consumers, who, the other day, tried to unmask the secret code in BSNL's prepaid ITC scratch-cards that would give them access to NSD/ISD calls from their fixed phones were in for a surprise. For, in place of the 16-digit code there was a blank space.

Everything else about these cards issued by an outlet in East Anna Nagar was perfect, including the serial and PSN numbers. The affected customers attributed the missing code to a technical hitch rather than hoax.

So, it is back to scratch for these customers who have either already stormed the Anna Nagar outlet or plan to do so immediately, for a replacement.

In case it is technical glitch that produced a whole generation of defective pre-paid ITCs, BSNL could soon be dealing with vast numbers of aggrieved customers, given the immense popularity of these cards. The Rs. 100, Rs. 300 and Rs. 500 versions of these cards are in high demand. However, a BSNL spokesperson said defective cards were a `freak occurrence' in an otherwise efficient process undertaken at Government presses in Nasik.

Aggrieved customers can get a replacement at any of the BSNL Customer Service Centres by returning the defective cards along with a letter detailing the purchase and the problem.

(Contributions by K.T. Sangameswaran, S. Vydhianathan and M. Dinesh Varma.)

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