WR may soon allow women with infants, people above 80 yrs in coaches for disabled

THE Western Railway (WR) is planning to allow senior citizens above the age of 80 and women with infants to travel in compartments reserved for disabled persons and cancer patients in suburban local trains. The decision was taken after railway officers observed during special drives that the number of passengers in the coach reserved for the disabled and cancer patients is lower compared to that of other coaches.

"WR is in the process of asking the Railway Board to make provisions that allow senior citizens above the age of 80 and women with infants upto a year old to board compartments reserved for disabled passengers. Given how crowded compartments reserved for women are, it is necessary that old persons and women with infants be allowed to board compartments which are relatively less crowded," said a senior railway officer on the condition of anonymity.

There are two compartments reserved for disabled commuters in a 12-car train and three in 15-car local. While seats are reserved for commuters above the age of 60 from 10 am to 5 pm in two coaches on a 12-car local, officers feel that commuters above the age of 80 should be given special consideration.

Women in advanced stages of pregnancy are also allowed to board compartment for the disabled. However, the decision has not gone down well with disabled commuters and cancer patients who consider it as an encroachment on their space.

A special team of Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) constables, including women, was formed to conduct intensive checks in coaches reserved for diabled commuters. A total of 1,601 cases were registered by the special team against unauthorised passengers last week. priyal.dave@expressindia.com

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