The government on Wednesday announced an increase in lower berth quota for senior citizens in trains from April 1.
There will be 80-90 seats reserved for senior citizens on every train as against 50-60 at present, government officials said.
Now, each sleeper class coach will have six lower berth seats reserved for senior citizens, female passengers above 45 years and pregnant women, up from four at present. In 3AC and 2AC classes, three lower berths will be kept reserved for senior citizens. In Rajdhani, Duronto and fully AC Express trains, four lower berths in every coach will be reserved in 3AC class, as against three per coach that are reserved in Mail or Express trains.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced the proposal in the Budget 2016-17 presented last month.
In another move, the government also announced decreasing freight rates on dedicated merry-go-round systems – rail tracks that connect coal mines and power plants. The freight rates for transporting goods have been revised down to Rs. 47 per tonne effective April 1 from Rs. 63 per tonne at present, Railway Board member (Traffic) Mohd. Jamshed said. He said this would make transportation of goods by train cheaper than roads where Rs. 72 per tonne was charged for covering 18 km.
Mr. Jamshed said the Railways expected an additional 5 million tonne freight load as a result of this move.