A LAWYER and a retired senior private secretary of a judge recently approached the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Union Ministry of Railways to earmark a separate coach for senior citizens similar to one for physically-handicapped persons in suburban local trains in Mumbai.
The PIL was filed by K P Purushothaman Nair (66), who claimed that at least 50,000 senior citizens like him travel daily on suburban trains and during the peak hours even younger people find it difficult to enter the compartments. Nair travels every day from Bandra to Churchgate.
The plea pointed out that the Court had passed several directions while hearing a suo motu PIL initiated in 2009 after taking cognizance of a letter written to the then Chief Justice of the High Court by advocate A B Thakker which had raised grievances about the lack of separate compartment for senior citizens above 65 years of age.
Following this, the Railways provided 14 dedicated seats to the senior citizens travelling in the second-class compartment in every local train.
The senior citizens are unable to avail the benefit of these reserved seats due to non-senior citizens occupying the same during peak hours, Nair claimed, adding that HC had made a similar observation in 2015.