Metro ride for old, disabled to go easy

DMRC mulls reserving a compartment

Seventy two-year-old Suresh Chand’s hour-long journey from Botanical Garden to Janakpuri Metro station to see his nephew is likely to be a comfortable experience in the coming months.

A request to a fellow commuter to vacate a seat for a senior citizen is usually met with a short shrift response.

Like Chand, many elderly commuters might not have to nag other passengers for a seat as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is mulling to reserve a coach in every train exclusively for them.

The DMRC is planning to reserve all seats of at least one coach of every train for disabled persons, senior citizens and pregnant women. The general public will also have something to cheer about, as the DMRC is deliberating to make the seats reserved for senior citizens and differently abled passengers in other coaches available for them.
The DMRC is conducting a survey in this regard.

According to the Metro corporation, certain number of seats are reserved for the elderly in every coach.

“There have been representations and repeated requests from senior citizens that though the seats have been reserved but people don’t vacate them, especially during the peak hours,” said the DMRC.

“Even the DMRC is not able to help the elderly as it is not possible to monitor the occupancy of these reserved seats in different coaches,” it added.

So the DMRC has decided to explore the possibility of categorising all the seats of a coach as ‘priority seats’.

“The preference will be given to senior citizens, differentially abled commuters to sit on the priority seats. However, anybody will  be free to travel in this car and sit if seats are vacant,” the DMRC said.

It added that the preference will be given to people on wheel chairs, senior citizens, pregnant women, women holding a child and visually challenged travellers.
The Delhi Metro covers 190 km including the Airport Line spanning over 145 Metro stations and carries over 25 lakh commuters on week days and is expected to carry around 40 lakh passengers by the end of 2016.

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