The Ministry of Railways has announced the launch of ‘Yatri Mitra Seva’, through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to provide wheelchair-cum-porter services for the differently-abled, elderly and ailing passengers at major railway stations.
The IRCTC has to find non-governmental or charitable organisations, or public sector undertakings to offer the service free of cost. If no help comes forth, service has to be arranged by the IRCTC, and this may come with a fee, the Railway Board said in a communiqué to all zonal railways. IRCTC is free to arrange this service through existing battery car service operators, if any.
Passengers in need of Yatri Mitra service may book through the IRCTC e-ticketing website or 139, or through a mobile phone. The Railways will soon launch a mobile app to be developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). Besides these, a dedicated mobile number for stations where services are available will be displayed on IRCTC and zonal railway websites.
After booking the service, the details, including train number, date and time of arrival/departure, PNR number, passenger’s name, coach and berth number will be sent by SMS to the passenger and the IRCTC, along with amount chargeable, if any. The passenger will also get the mobile number of the Yatri Mitra concerned.
When the passenger arrives at the station, the Yatri Mitra will approach the passenger near the coach and greet him/her before picking up the luggage and helping with the wheelchair. The mitra will take the passenger to the desired exit gate or any other platform in case of “transfer passenger”.
The board has said the Railways will provide space for storage/parking of wheelchairs and provide charging points for battery-operated chairs. The service charges, if being levied, should be kept reasonable and be collected by the service provider directly from the passenger.
SOURCE :The Hindu