A new order by the Indian Railways has restricted the passengers travelling with reserved tickets from sleeping beyond 6 AM and before 10 PM.
This now efefctively means that the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 PM and 6 AM so that other passengers can sit on the seats for the rest of the time.
According to earlier guidelines, seats would be reserved for passengers, with the intention to ‘provide sleeping accommodation between 9 PM to 6 AM.’
The new circular dated 31 August said, “Sleeping accommodation between 2200 hours and 0600 hours and sitting accommodation for the rest of the period is provided for the passengers in the reserved coaches having sleeping accommodation.”
The circular, however, 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 was quoted by PTI.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Anil Saxena said that they had received feedback from officials regarding issues between passengers over sleeping arrangements.
He told PTI, “We already have a rule in place. However, we wanted to clarify it and ensure it is followed.”
Conversely, officials said problems also arose when passengers on the middle berths refuse to get up so that those on the lower berths could sit comfortably.
“It is a regular bone of contention among passengers. Once, there was a passenger on the lower berth who slept all through the journey from Kolkata to Delhi, while the man on the upper berth had to remain there and others on the middle berth sat perched in one corner of the lower berth through the trip.
“All through the journey, they kept taking digs at the sleeping man and even poking him. This happens all the time on trains,” said Sachin Singh, a businessman, who travels frequently between Delhi and Kolkata for meetings.
Ministry officials said the new directive will help Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) to resolve such disputes on board by preventing anyone from taking catnaps beyond the permissible time.