"If 'ladies quota' berths are left vacant, the on-board ticket checking staff shall be authorised to allot this accommodation to any other lady passenger/senior citizen."
Rail travel is set to become easier for single women travellers. The Railway Board has ordered the Southern Railway to reserve six berths in every sleeper class coach for women passengers irrespective of their age, reported The New Indian Express.
“These six berths will be open for woman passengers travelling alone and for groups of women passengers in a ticket (with single PNR). If the six berths are not availed till the preparation of the first chart, the berths will be released to wait-listed single woman passengers and groups of women passengers, and, the next preference would be given to senior citizens,” reads the order.
This decision comes amidst observations by the Railways that berths reserved under the quota for women were going unoccupied during journeys at night. The Railways had observed that these seats were being allotted to general wait-list passengers, according to TNIE.
However, women travelling with men cannot avail of this quota.
“This means if two berths under women’s quota remain unutilised in a train till preparation of the first chart, a woman passenger who holds a ticket with RAC 6, will get the confirmed berth first, in case passengers holding tickets between RAC 1 and RAC 5 are men or women travelling with men. If any senior citizen holds the RAC ticket between 1 and 5, he or she will get another berth under women’s quota,” said a Railway official to the publication.
The other major announcement was the reservation of six lower berths per coach in sleeper class for senior citizens, pregnant women and female passengers above the age of 45 travelling alone, since climbing up to their upper berths is an ordeal.
Similar arrangements for three lower berths in the air-conditioned 3-tier and 2-tier coaches were also announced for the above set of passengers. Fully air-conditioned trains like Rajdhani and Duronto will have four lower berths per coach for these passengers in air-conditioned 3-tier (3AC) coaches. In the event these seats aren’t occupied, the same procedure for allotment will follow.
The introduction of these changes to the seating arrangement will make train travel a lot easier.