With a view to providing better facilities to physically challenged and elderly people, the railways has taken a decision to ensure availability of battery-operated vehicles at all important stations of Indian Railways across the country. It has worked out the details in this connection.
According to a Railway Board official, the railways intends to provide four-seater vehicles to help the targeted people in boarding trains at important stations.
The board recently issued necessary guidelines to each zonal railways to introduce this system. The task to operate such vehicles will be outsourced to private agencies, he said adding railways would provide this facility free of cost. Under the plan, railways would provide free electricity to private service providers at stations for charging the batteries of these vehicles. But it would be the sole responsibility of the service providers to maintain battery-operated vehicles on their own, sources said.
According to sources, railways has already indentified service providers in different zones of the railways across the country. It is likely to enter into a deal with service providers as per railway terms and condition for at least one year. The deal could be renewed further depending on the performance of service providers, sources said.
According to ECR sources, railways has decided to introduce this facility at major stations like Patna Junction, Mughalsarai, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur and Barauni to fulfil the needs of physically challenged and elderly persons. A final decision in this connection will be taken soon, sources said.
According to Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Danapur, L M Jha, railways has now provided a special parking facility for physically challenged people in the circulating area of Patna Junction. The space has been provided at the west end of the station, near the Computerized Reservation Office, he said.
The DRM said that railways has set up an Air Conditioned (AC) mortuary at the RMS end of Patna Junction. The unclaimed bodies would no longer be thrown into the circulating area causing difficulty to people visiting Patna Junction or making an exit from there, he said.