Most of us, especially the youngsters, who travel on trains and make overnight journeys, are familiar with a request made by the elderly or women co-passengers—the request to exchange the berth which has been officially assigned.
The reason behind this is that youngsters can easily climb up to the upper berth.
Through a new provision launched by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), elderly passengers and women who travel alone can book lower berths through online ticket booking.
Operational since January 15, an exclusive quota has been instated by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the IT handle of IRCTC, which will allow one to book e-tickets for lower berths.
Under the provision, elderly passengers (above 60 years for men) and women passengers (45 years of age and above) can apply for the quota in IRCTC’s main page while booking.
“Lower berths earmarked under senior citizen and women’s quota in the respective classes by default will get allotted to them. If the berths are already booked, they will be given berths under general quota,” said official sources, reports The New Indian Express.
A similar provision was incorporated in April 2016, under which the railways had demarcated four lower berths in every Sleeper class coach and two lower berths in each of AC three-tier and AC two-tier class coaches for senior citizens, women passengers and pregnant women traveling alone.
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The provision failed because passengers could only make use of if they booked the tickets at passenger reservation system (PRS) ticket counters at railways stations.
“The quota will be applicable only when an elderly person travels alone, or two passengers travel on a single ticket. After choosing the lower berth quota, if tickets are booked for three passenger berths on a single ticket, then berths will be allotted only under the general quota,” clarified an officer.
Under the current facility, however, pregnant women can only apply for the lower berth if they book the tickets at PRS counters.