Ranjit Mahanti

FILING an affidavit, Ashok Tiwari, Divisional Commercial Manager (DCM) of Western Railway (WR) informed to the Bombay High Court that it was not possible for them to provide a separate compartment for senior citizens in suburban local trains.

A B Thakker, a senior citizen had written a letter to high court urging to direct to the authorities to reserve space for senior citizens in local trains.

The letter was converted into a PIL by the court.

The DCM said it would be difficult to provide a separate compartment for senior citizens. Separate compartments have already been provided by the Railways for women and disabled. There is also a separate luggage compartment for the commuters to carry their belongings.

The Railways further said that previously for cancer passengers and disabled commuters a separate compartment with seven seats was provided. Now, this has been modified to a big compartment of 19 seats with additional free space for movement.

As it is very difficult for senior citizens to enter crowded local trains, particularly during the peak hours, the Railways had reserved for them about seven seats almost in every coach. However, the petitioner pointed out that these seats are reserved on the last row of every coach and it is very difficult for the elders to get inside the compartment and reach their seats. Hence, they cannot enjoy this facility.

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