‘Prevent able-bodied in disabled coaches’

The commissioner for disabilities has passed strict orders to curb the menace of non-bonafide passengers who travel in handicapped coaches and cause inconvenience to disabled passengers. After hearing a complaint, filed by a disabled passenger, Nitin Gaikwad from Ghatkopar, the commissioner has asked Central Railway to take stern action against people who illegally travel in coaches reserved for disabled commuters. In his order passed on September 4, he has also asked for an officer to be appointed in coaches reserved for disabled commuters.
Mr Gaikwad had filed this complaint on April 22 when he learnt that hundreds of city police jawans were caught daily in the drive launched by the RPF, but they were not being prosecuted. Mr Gaikwad produced solid evidence of the jawans travelling in handicapped coaches. He also proved that they were traveling in the reserved coaches and were also ticket-less, but railway officials were sympathetic towards them.
After hearing all the parties, the commissioner passed seven important orders given to the respondent DRM, Central Railway (Mumbai division). The order says that informative boards should be displayed at the station area and trains about legal action for illegally travelling in the coach reserved for disabled commuters. It also asks CR to install CCTV cameras in the handicapped coaches. The commissioner also asked CR to register the complaints of the disabled on priority basis and act on them promptly.
Activist Samir Jhaveri hailed the order calling it a ‘landmark’ one, while a senior officer reacted saying, “Let me go through the order copy first.” However he also added that the CR has always been serious in safeguarding handicapped commuters.
Both the Central and Western Railway’s Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) had launched a drive to evict non-bonafide passengers from handicapped coaches. They found that dozens of jawans from the city police were travelling in the handicapped coaches and encroaching the space reserved for the disabled.

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