Railway News, Nation, (New Delhi), September 18:-The railways have reduced the sleeping hours of passengers by an hour to prevent quarrels because of oversleeping by travellers on the middle and lower berths.
According to a circular issued by the Railway Board, the passengers in the reserved coaches can sleep between 10pm and 6am instead of 9pm and 6am to allow others to sit on the seats for the rest of the period.
The sleeping times are rarely enforced in trains.
“Sleeping accommodation between 2200 hours and 0600 hours and sitting accommodation for the rest of the period are provided for the passengers in the reserved coaches having sleeping accommodation,” said the circular, dated August 31.
The circular makes an exception for certain passengers.
“Passengers are, however, requested to cooperate with the sick, persons with disability, and pregnant ladies in case they want to sleep beyond permissible limits,” it said.
The new provision replaces paragraph 652 of the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I, which provides for sleeping accommodation between 9pm and 6am.
“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 that and ensure it is followed,” said railway ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena.
Another railway official said the sleeping time was reduced by an hour because often passengers go to sleep as soon as they board a train – during the day or at night – causing inconvenience to co-travellers on the upper and middle berths.
On the other hand, officials said problems also arise when passengers on the middle berths refuse to get up so that those on the lower berths can sit comfortably.
Officials said the problem was more acute for side berths. The circular said a person booked on a side-upper berth would not have any claim on the lower berth between 10pm and 6am.
TTEs are responsible for enforcing the stipulated sleeping times.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)