New Delhi: The Railways on Thursday said it has earmarked two berths – one lower and one middle – in sleeper classes under the handicapped quota for physically challenged people travelling on concession.
There are two types of handicapped people who can book berth under this quota – one for whom it is compulsory to travel along with escort and the second for whom it is optional.
“Recently instances were brought to the notice of this office where the handicapped persons for whom it is optional to take an escort were not allowed to book single berth against this quota by some railways since the second berth will go vacant as middle berth cannot be allotted to physically handicapped persons,” the railways ministry said in a statement.
Post a revision following the instances, the Railways has undertaken rationalisation effective December 22 this year. Under the revision, there will be two types of handicapped quota of two berths each (one lower and one middle) in the same cabin – one for physically handicapped people who can utilize concession only when accompanied by an escort – and the second for those for whom it is optional to take an escort.
“As for the former category, it is compulsory to be accompanied by an escort, these berths can be booked by such category of handicapped persons booking tickets on concession on first come first serve basis,” the statement said. For the latter category, if the first handicapped person intends to book berth along with escort, both the berths will be booked. However if they book without escort, the second berth will not be booked under handicapped quota and will be released to RAC or waitlisted passengers at the time of preparation of reservation charts.
Further, at the time of preparation of reservation charts, the unutilized lower berths under this quota can be released to physically handicapped passengers, single senior citizen travelling alone on priority and thereafter to waitlisted passengers as per priority.
It has also been decided that whenever a physically handicapped person books ticket on concession and if no berth is available in handicapped quota, the system will automatically try to allot the lower berth to the person and the middle berth to the escort subject to availability of same at the time of booking.