The Railways is trying to put an end to those tiresome quarrels that break out due to oversleeping passengers on the middle and lower berths by reducing official sleeping hours. According to a circular issued by the railway board, the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm and 6 am to allow others to sit on the seats for the rest of the time.
Sleeping accommodation between 2200 hours and 0600 hours and sitting accommodation for the rest of the period is provided for the passengers in the reserved coaches having sleeping accommodation, dated August 31. The new provision replaces paragraph 652 in the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I, which provides for sleeping accommodation between 9 pm and 6 am. We had received feedback from officials regarding issues between passengers over sleeping arrangements. We already have a rule in place. However, we wanted to clarify it and ensure it is followed.
It is a regular bone of contention among passengers. Once, there was a passenger on the lower berth who slept all through the journey from Kolkata to Delhi, while the man on the upper berth had to remain there and others on the middle berth sat perched in one corner of the lower berth through the trip. That the problem is more acute for side berths. The circular has clarified that a person booked on side upper berth will not have any claim of seat on the lower berth between 10 pm and 6 am.