Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Prabhu�s Rail Budget women, senior citizen friendly


By Manpreet Singh Bhatia

Jamshedpur, Feb. 25: Women and senior citizens in the steel city have something to cheer about after the railways minister Suresh Prabhu presented his second Railway Budget on Thursday. Though the Railway Budget has not announced any new trains the Chakradharpur railway division, railway minister has put a smile on senior citizen and women commuters.

The minister announced introduction of 33 percent sub-quota for women in each reserved categories, while increasing the quota of lower berths for senior citizens and women passengers. In the coming financial year, the Railways will increase the senior citizen quota by 50% per coach, resulting in almost 120 lower berths per train for senior citizens.

�It a great news as women commuters will now won�t face issue travelling as during the summer vacations it is impossible to get tickets booked,� said Kiranjot Kaur, a Kerala Public School (Kadma) teacher, who travels to Jallandhar every six months.

�Booking a train ticket is very tough, but this time the railway minister has taken note of the women fraternity and reservation would increase the number of women passengers on the important long distance trains,� said Shilpi Sachdeva, student at Kirori Mal College who visits Jamshedpur once in two months.

�Senior citizens are worst sufferers as they don�t get lower berths and it�s very difficult for them to climb to the upper berth, but thankfully the railway minister has increased the quota per coach by 50%, which would make traveling a good experience,� said Nirmal Prasad, a retired government school teacher.

�Single mothers, who hesitate traveling to holiday destinations with the small children, will now feel free to board trains as, within all coaches, middle bays will be reserved for women to enhance their security.

At the same time, the minister has also announced an all-India 24X7 helpline specifically for women,� said Mamta Agarwal, who has a son 7-year-old son and travels to Jaipur every year.

She added, �New passenger amenities like automatic doors will also prove to be of great help to women passengers.�

The new pan-India Clean My Coach Service, which will allow passenger to request for cleaning the train’s toilets via SMS, is another facility that will likely be used and appreciated more by women.

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