Mumbai railway police to start campaign against illegal commuters on disabled coaches
Following a series of complaints from disabled commuters about government officials and uniformed men (police, Central Industrial Security Forces and so on) travelling in coaches reserved for the handicapped, the Government Railway Police from Central Railways has decided to start a massive drive against such illegal commuting.
According to Samadhan Pawar, deputy commissioner of police (GRP) central railway, the number of able-bodied people commuting in handicapped coaches has not come down despite initiating action against them. “We have now decided to begin a publicity campaign asking such people to desist from entering the disabled coach,” he said.
According to the GRP, disabled people have been repeatedly complaining about difficulties in boarding and alighting from trains, especially those heading towards Churchgate from Kalyan, Dombivli and Thane stations during peak hours in the morning and those heading back to Thane and Dadar during the evening rush.
Pawar said that in the past year, the number of abled-bodied people commuting illegally in the handicapped Central Railway coaches had gone up by 30 percent. Even though the railway police started taking action against errant travellers, it had no effect on the number of uniformed men travelling in handicapped coaches.
In March this year, as many as 1,548 able-bodied commuters were caught travelling in coaches reserved for the disabled. Out of these, 710 commuters were charged under sections of Right of Persons with Disability (RPWD) Act, 2017. Since then, the GRP has imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh or imprisonment up to two years on rule violators. Earlier the deterrent was just a fine of ₹500.
“A massive drive would help in decreasing the number of cops traveling in handicapped coaches,” said a GRP officer.