Sleep less and don’t fight: Railways cuts down nap time to check quarrels on trains
In a bid to put an end to quarrels between passengers in reserved train compartments, the railways has decided to reduce official sleeping hours by an hour.
In a circular dated August 31, the railway ministry has stipulated that passengers in reserved coaches can sleep only between 10pm and 6am, while allowing other passengers to sit on the lower berths for the remaining period of time. At present, passengers are permitted to sleep between 9pm and 6am.
The circular, however, advises passengers to cooperate with the sick, persons with disability and pregnant women to sleep beyond permissible limits, should they so desire.
The Railway Board has received thousands of complaints from passengers about the difficulties caused on account of “oversleeping passengers”.
Railway ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena told PTI: “We had received feedback from officials regarding issues between passengers over sleeping arrangements. We already have a rule in place. However, we wanted to clarify it and ensure it is followed.”
Upper-berth passengers have often complained that they are allowed very little time to eat their meals because lower-berth passengers tend to go to sleep immediately after boarding the train. Lower-berth passengers, on their part, have complained that they are unable to sit comfortably since passengers in middle berths continue sleeping till late.
The highest number of complaints had been received from the side upper berth passengers, who remain cramped for space as the two side lower berths are often occupied by reserved-against-cancellation passengers. The circular has clarified that a person booked on the side upper berth will not have any claim of seat on the lower berth between 10pm and 6am.
Ministry officials said the new directive will help the travelling ticket examiner to resolve disputes by preventing passengers from taking catnaps beyond the permissible time.
The new provision replaces paragraph 652 in the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I, which had provided for sleeping accommodation between 9pm and 6am.
(with agency inputs)