Making the journey unpleasant by Indian Railway Administration.
I would like to thank the Railway Ministry for extending support to the Physically Challenged persons. Further, in attending the complaints and redress them in a speedy way, Indian Railways is second to none. However, I furnish below my bad experience while travelling on 23-12-2008 by West Coast Express by 3A. (B2)
On 23-12-2008, the whole journey was an unpleasant one with a chaotic situation in both B1 as well as B2 compartments.
The numbers were changed and a passengers allotted with lower berth got upper berth and many youngsters with upper berth tickets were allotted with lower berths with these new numbers. Many had a sympathetic outlook and allowed the aged, invalid and physically handicapped to occupy the lower berths. Many were adamant to occupy the lower berths and started spreading the woolen blanket even at 12-30 PM and pretended to sleep.
This made the situation still worse as the side middle passengers were forced to squeeze in to their berth with all the discomforts in the world!
Being a physically handicapped senior citizen , I was allotted a lower birth number 33 which was upper birth under the new number. My escort, wife, was allotted a middle birth 37 which was a lower birth by then. Already two elderly persons with kids were occupying the birth and my conscience did not allow me to ask them to vacate the berth. We reserve in advance to have a comfortable travel. We do not disturb others nor like to be disturbed. Well planning and reserving well in advance had lost its meaning on 23-12-2008!
All this was due to the failure in the administration of the Indian Railways. While introducing a side middle berth, what stopped them to change the software accordingly to issue the tickets correctly ? What the Ticket Checking officials can do in the midst of a chaotic outburst by the passengers? Can the brain behind the side middle berths face the public in such a situation?
Can any aged or invalid or the Physically challenged person occupy the side middle berth? Does the Indian Railway Administration expect the passengers to do Circus while occupying the side middle berth ? Entering the berth from side ways is ruled out. Only through the front middle side able persons can occupy the berth. That too after putting his legs on the lower berth. Is there any step to enter the middle berth ? Is there any possibility of providing steps? Definitely not. Then how the Indian Railway Administration expects the passengers to occupy the side middle berths?
Even when some body occupies , it would be suffocating, both psychologically as well as physically. At the cost of the passengers’ convenience Indian Railway Administration should not entertain such cheap ideas of introducing side middle berths ! It looks awkward and would definitely spoil the name of Indian Railways and the charm of travelling by rail would vanish.
Now, I would like to have your reply with regard to how the tickets were issued without changing the soft ware accordingly and made me to travel in a difficult situation.
Please investigate and advise.
S. Lakshmi Narasimhan. Dated 24-12-2008.
Chief Manager (Retired) 2, SBI Colony – III,
State Bank of India. Meyyanur, Salem – 636 004.
Phone : 0427-2446877
Consumer Voice. ( New Delhi)