21 Nov 2023 12:00 PM GMT
The Hyderabad District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-II bench presided by Sri. Vakkanti Narsimha Rao along with Sri. P.V.T.R. Jawahar Babu (Member) and Smt. D. Sridevi (Member) recently allowed a consumer complaint against Hyderabad Metro Rail for incorrect direction signs at Malakpet Metro Station. The complaint alleged that these signs led the commuter (Complainant) in the...
The Hyderabad District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-II bench presided by Sri. Vakkanti Narsimha Rao along with Sri. P.V.T.R. Jawahar Babu (Member) and Smt. D. Sridevi (Member) recently allowed a consumer complaint against Hyderabad Metro Rail for incorrect direction signs at Malakpet Metro Station. The complaint alleged that these signs led the commuter (Complainant) in the wrong direction, causing inconvenience and a safety risk. Despite admitting fault, the metro authority didn't rectify the signs promptly. As a result, the Commission held Hyderabad Metro Rail liable for deficiency in service and unfair trade practices, directing them to change the signs and pay Rs. 5000/- as compensation for inconvenience, along with Rs. 1000/- as legal costs.
Shaik Abdul Khader (Complainant) intended on travelling to Hafizpet and used the UTS App to book an MMTS (Multi-Modal Transport System) ticket. After boarding a Metro train at Dilsukhnagar and de-boarding at Malakpet Metro Station around 9:45 AM, Khader followed signs at the station directing him towards the MMTS. However, soon he realized that these signs were incorrect and misleading, pointing in the wrong direction. He informed the station's customer care, requesting to exit through the correct gate, but they did not permit him. Instead, they suggested him to cross a busy road to reach the MMTS station, which Khader found unsafe and impractical.
The complainant, trying to avoid a risky road crossing, encountered illogical arguments with the staff. As per him the Metro staff was not cooperating. Despite having a valid Metro Card, he was not allowed to exit through the correct gate, leading to public embarrassment. Abdul questioned the logic behind denying exit, given the wrong direction signs, and also criticized the uncooperative behavior of staff. As per the complaint, the Metro's placement of incorrect direction signs and the unhelpful attitude of the staff amounted to deficiency in their services, constituting unfair trade practices.
Arguments of Hyderabad Metro Rail
The Hyderabad Metro Rail authorities responded to the complaint by denying most allegations. They admitted that the signage was worn out but claimed it would have been addressed during their regular sign review. They insisted that the direction indicated also led to the MMTS, although it involved crossing a road using a safe signal.
Regarding Khader's interaction with the ticketing officer and security personnel, the Metro Rail highlighted their adherence to safety protocols, mentioning that the ticketing officer sought necessary approvals. The security personnel, however, couldn't accompany Khader as it wasn't within their designated work scope, but Khader was eventually permitted to exit through the required gate.
Observations of the Commission
The Commission found that the direction boards at Malakpet Metro Station, erroneously directed towards the wrong path for accessing the MMTS station and this indeed misled the complainant, who subsequently sought assistance from the ticketing officer to rectify the issue. While acknowledging the incorrect sign boards and the subsequent inconvenience caused to the complainant, the commission partly allowed the consumer complaint. They ruled that the Hyderabad Metro Rail's oversight in maintaining accurate direction boards amounted to a deficiency in their service and unfair trade practice.
As a result, the Commission directed the Hyderabad Metro Rail to rectify the direction boards at Malakpet Metro Station to accurately guide commuters to the MMTS station. Additionally, they ordered the Hyderabad Metro Rail to pay Rs. 5,000/- as compensation for the inconvenience caused and Rs. 1,000/- towards the costs incurred during the proceedings. The Hyderabad Metro Rail was given 45 days to comply with this order.
Case Title: Shaik Abdul Khader vs. Hyderabad Metro Rail
Counsel for Complainant: Party In Person
Counsel for Hyderabad Metro Rail: Adv. M. Yateendra Raju
Click Here To Read/Download The Order