No reduction in non-AC coaches, says Vaishnaw
No changes have been made to the standard composition of coaches in trains, railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday.
No changes have been made to the standard composition of coaches in trains, railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday, as he refuted allegations that cutting down on non-AC coaches has added to passengers’ woes during festive rush this year.
The minister’s clarification has come in the backdrop of the Indian Railways receiving flak for alleged mismanagement during the festive rush, with several social media users accusing the national carrier of reducing berths of sleeper and general coaches gradually over the years leading to increased festive rush.
“The reports of the number of sleeper coaches being reduced in trains leading to problems for passengers opting for non-AC berths is false. There is a standard composition of coaches in a train since the time new LHB coaches were introduced and all trains have 22 coaches with same configuration” Vaishnaw said in a statement. “There is no change in the standard coach composition in a train.”
According to Indian Railways data, between April and October this year, 95.3% of the total passengers travelled in general and non-AC sleeper coaches while only 4.7% travelled in AC coaches.
Explaining the configuration of a rake, Vaishnaw said: “A train has six to seven sleeper coaches, four general coaches, one or no AC 1st class, one or two pantry, two 2AC coaches, six 3AC coaches and one power car or a guard coach.”
The IR is estimated to operate 6,754 additional train trips this festive season between October 1 and December 31, the corresponding number last year was 2,614.
“Reservations and waiting list trends are monitored three months before the season begins. A call is taken on planning for the additional train trips accordingly,” the minister said.
Vaishnaw pointed out that there has been a nearly three-fold increase in the number of special trains trips this festive season as compared to last year. “…We have already operated 2,423 trips from October 1. Thirty-six lakh [3.6 million] passengers have travelled in the current festive season, which is more than double as compared to last season,” he added.
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