NEW DELHI, Sept 17 (IANS): Arguments between passengers allotted the lower and middle berths in reserved train coaches are common and in a bid to end this issue, the Railways has decided to reduce the official sleeping hours in its trains by an hour.
According to a circular issued by the Railway Board on August 31, the passengers allloted to the lower berths in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and must allow those allotted middle or upper berths to sit there for the rest of the time.
Earlier, the existing permissible time for sleeping in reserved coaches was between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
"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 said.
"On the lower berths on which passengers have been booked under Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC), during the day time, sitting accomodation is also provided for those booked on the upper berth," the the circular said.
The circular also clarified that a person booked on side upper berth will not have any claim of seat on the lower berth between 10 p.m. hours and 6 a.m.
"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.
Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena told IANS that the decision was taken in view of the feedback received from the officials over sleeping arrangement in the trains.
He also said that the railways already have a rule over sleeping hours and that has been amended.