To address the issue of altercation between passengers over oversleeping passengers, the railway board on Sunday issued a circular to reduce official sleeping hours by one hour in trains.
Now, passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 PM and 6 AM. Earlier, the sleeping hours was between 9 PM and 6 AM. Apart from the sleeping hours, all the passengers can sit on the lower berths.
The Railway was forced to take such decision as there were increase in passengers who immediately wanted to sleep after boarding trains irrespective of whether it is day or night. With that, passengers on middle and upper berths had to face problems.
"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," said the circular, dated August 31.
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 says.
The new provision replaces paragraph 652 in the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I, which provides for sleeping accommodation between 9 pm and 6 am.
“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 it and ensure it is followed,” said ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena.
With PTI inputs