Senior citizens, differently-abled, pregnant women and medically sick travellers will be given a preference
The Railway ministry will soon launch a mobile application for booking battery-operated cars for station premises in an attempt to help old and differently-abled passengers needing assistance.
The dedicated mobile application will help users book battery-operated cars. The booking facility will also be available on IRCTC e-ticketing website and 139.
The ministry has written to zonal railways asking them to start the process of inviting tenders for provision and operation of battery-operated cars at railway stations.
As per the instructions, each railway station will have a dedicated mobile number which will be displayed on IRCTC e-ticketing website.
Based on the station at which the facility is booked by the passenger, the booking details will be sent by SMS both to the passenger and the service provider along with the amount chargeable.
The service provider will have to ensure that the battery operated car is positioned at the desired point at the platform near the coach of the arriving passenger or at the entrance of the station building.
The charges would be collected by the service provider directly from the passenger.
Rail users who book the service in advance will get a priority. Those without prior booking can get the service on 'first come first served' basis.
Senior citizens, differently-abled, pregnant women and medically sick travellers will be given a preference.
The number of such cars available at a station will depend on the number of platforms, number of passengers handled and availability of space for parking and movement of the vehicles.
The service provider contracted will be solely responsible for "operation and maintenance". The Railways will be providing electrical points for charging the battery-operated cars as well as free parking space.
Initially this service will be made available at 75 A-1 railway stations. It is currently available at stations under Konkan Railways. New Delhi railway station also provides this facility as part of the ministry's Sarathi Seva scheme.
The expansion of this facility to other stations was mooted by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu during his Railway Budget speech earlier this year.
Photograph: Rebecca Cook/Reuters