Indian Railways – Reservation for Physically Challenged Made Easier –
In a much-needed relief to the physically-challenged persons availing concessional rail fares, Railways has rationalised provisions for allotment of berths in a sleeper class under such quota by earmarking middle seat for the accompanying passenger.
Under this plan there will be two types of quotas for physically challenged persons from which seats will be allotted at the time of reservation. Seats will be made available to a physically challenge person and its escort from these two different quotas at the time of ticket booking.
New rule will come into action from Dec 22, 2015. Apart from seat quota physically handicapped person will also get lower berth/ seat always. His attendant will get the middle berth so that he can easily take care for his fellow passenger. In case the seats are not available under the above quotas, the railway reservation system will try and book seats for handicapped persons from other quotas and that too will be lower seat, if possible. Seat booking for attendant will be optional too.
Here are other few important things that should be kept in mind as regards to reservation for physically handicapped persons in railway:
- In each cabin, two berths, a lower berth and middle berth, will be reserved for handicapped personnel. It will be optional to the attendant.
- Category under which it is necessary for attendant to travel, concessional tickets/seats will be booked as per first come first served basis.
- Category under which attendant is optional, and a passenger decides not to travel with an attendant, than vacant seats will be queued up with waiting list and RAC quota.
- If a lower berth seat remains vacant at the time of chart preparation of a train, these lower berths will be allotted to senior citizens.
- Reservation system will always try and allot lower berth to a handicap person and middle berth to his attendant.
These changes were necessitated following some cases of the handicapped persons for whom it is optional to take an escort were not allowed to book single berth against this quota on the ground that the second berth will go vacant (as middle berth cannot be allotted to physically handicapped persons) was brought to the notice of the Railway Ministry, it said.
The release also said that at the time of preparation of reservation charts, the untiled lower berths under this quota can be released to physically handicapped passenger(of either category who were kept in general waiting list due to exhaustion of their quota), single senior citizen travelling alone on priority or to waitlisted passengers as per priority.