There are two types of handicapped persons who can book berth under this quota; one for whom it is compulsory to travel along with escort and the second for whom it is optional. Recently instances were brought to the notice of this office where the handicapped persons for whom it is optional to take an escort were not allowed to book single berth against this quota by some Railways since the second berth will go vacant as middle berth cannot be allotted to physically handicapped persons. This issue has now been examined by the Ministry of Railways and further rationalization has been done to ensure optimum allotment and utilization of handicapped quota. The revised decisions taken are given as under : –
(i) There will be two types of handicapped quota of two berths each (one lower and one middle) in the same cabin; one for physically handicapped persons who can utilize concession only when accompanied by an escort and the second for those handicapped persons for whom it is optional to take an escort with them.
(ii) As for the former category it is compulsory to be accompanied by an escort, these berths can be booked by such category of handicapped persons booking tickets on concession on first come first serve basis.
(iii) For the later, where it is optional to be accompanied by an escort, if the first handicapped person intends to book berth along with escort, both the berths will be booked. However if the first handicapped person books without escort, the second berth will not be booked under handicapped quota and will be released to RAC/waitlisted passengers at the time of preparation of reservation charts.
(iv) Further, at the time of preparation of reservation charts, the unutilized lower berths under this quota can be released to physically handicapped passenger (of either category who were kept in general waiting list due to exhaustion of their quota), single senior citizen travelling alone on priority and thereafter to waitlisted passengers as per priority. In case a single berth i.e. middle berth is left vacant in this quota of second category it will be released to RAC/waitlisted passengers.
(v) It has also been decided that whenever a physically handicapped person books ticket on concession and if no berth is available in handicapped quota, the system will automatically try to allot the lower berth to him/her and middle berth to escort subject to availability of same at the time of booking.
These new provisions will be effective by 22nd December, 2015.