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Blog Entry# 3553334
Posted: Jun 20 2018 (14:14)

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Jun 20 2018 (14:14)   Railways slash reservation time for elderly, disabled

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Entry# 3553334   News Entry# 342038         Tags   Past Edits
BENGALURU: In a host of measures that would come as a rude shock to those who are yet to hop on to the online bandwagon for booking of railway tickets, the Bengaluru Railway Division has recently reduced the booking hours for senior citizens and disabled passengers to just half a day at the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (Bengaluru City) Railway Station. It has also merged the enquiry counter with the current reservation next to it thereby massively increasing the waiting time for passengers.
The new timings put up at their special reservation counter is 8 am to 2 pm only. This reduction in timings without any intimation has not gone down well with senior citizens. Sixty-nine-year-old Syed Nizammudin, an advocate heading to Mangaluru,
who stood in the general queue for an enquiry, says, “It is not a wise move at all. Due to morning rush and traffic, if the elderly want to come post lunch and book a reserved ticket, the counter will be shut.”
Another senior citizen, Vinod Kumar, rushing to board a train with his family, seconds it. “It is really wrong of the Railways to do so,” he said. Many senior citizens echoed similar views.Offering a different view point though was sexagenarian A R Holla. This advocate says, “The issue is irrelevant for me. For nearly 10 years I have been doing all my bookings online.”
Meanwhile, the merging of the enquiry counter with the current reservation has ensured a longer waiting period for all. C Prabhakaran, a retired BBMP employee, was spotted standing in the current reservation queue for more than an hour to check if his waitlisted ticket on the Rani Channamma Express was confirmed or not. “This is really tough on me. I am just not able to stand so long. Railways needs to be more sensitive,” he said.
The number of counters in the adjacent reservation section on the first floor too have been reduced from six to four. Senior citizens, who come beyond 2 pm, can book tickets here climbing steep stairs.
Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Bengaluru Railway Division, N R Sridharamurthy feels the patronage has come down heavily for physical booking of tickets forcing the Division to effect such moves. “Our analysis shows that an average of just 40 t0 50 tickets are booked per day by senior citizens. Each clerk is expected to book 240 tickets a day (120 per shift).”
Seniors or the disabled can book in the current reservation section, he adds. However, a booking clerk told TNIE that reservations beyond 9 am of the following day cannot be done at that counter.
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