Rail budget: More berths for aged, pregnant, differently-abled in trains

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015 10:32 hrs

Railways today proposed an increase in the quota of berths for senior citizens, pregnant and differently-abled persons in trains.

Folding ladders would be made available in coaches for easy climbing and the middle bay of coaches will be reserved for women and senior citizens for reasons of safety, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said in his budget speech.

"We will replace the present ladders used for climbing to upper berths, which are uncomfortable, with user-friendly ones," he said, adding they have approached the National Institute of Design for the purpose.

He said travelling ticket examiners would be instructed to help senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled persons in obtaining lower berths.

Besides, more berths would be made available through increase in number of coaches to meet the growing demand of confirmed seats on trains.

"Trains which are fully patronised throughout the year will be augmented with additional coaches from trains which have relatively lower occupancy level," he said.

Railway officials said they have identified about 180 trains with an occupancy rate of 30 per cent and coaches from these trains could be added to the sought-after trains.

Further, the capacity in identified trains will be augmented to run with 26 coaches, up from existing 24 coaches.

More general class coaches will also be added in identified trains to benefit the common man, the Minister said.

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