In an attempt to control the nuisance caused by passengers speaking loudly on their mobile phones or inflicting their music on other commuters by failing to use earphones, the Railways has now instructed its on-board train staff including ticket checkers, the RPF, catering and coach attendants to enter coaches and ask passengers to maintain public etiquette.
Confirming the development, a Western Railway official said, “We have recently embarked on a two-week long special drive in this regard. Under this drive, our ticket checkers and other on-board railway staff will be counselling passengers to avoid talking loudly on their phones, listening to music without earphones, using lights in the cabin at night other than the focus light after 10pm, and avoiding loud, general discussions which inconveniences co-passengers.”
“All staff engaged in this job are instructed to be polite, tactful and courteous in their dealings with the passengers, leaving no room for complaints,” the official added.
When asked about habitual offenders who will continue to cause nuisance to co-passengers, a Central Railway official said, “In such cases, we will prosecute them as per the Railway Act provisions.”
Under section 145 of the Railway Act, if anyone commits any nuisance or act of indecency or uses abusive or obscene language or wilfully or without excuse interferes with any amenity provided by the railway administration so as to affect the comfortable travel of a passenger, they may be removed from the railway by any railway servant and shall, in addition to the forfeiture of their pass or ticket, be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months and fine which may extend to Rs 500. A fortnight-long special drive to counsel passengers had begun on CR from Thursday, an official informed.
Experts have welcomed the Railways’ move, saying that one man’s entertainment is another man’s exacerbation. Pointing out that many passengers, who are not bothered about their fellow travellers and the environment, cause nuisance and disturb other passengers by playing music and videos loudly during travel. Shailesh Goyal, a Divisional Railway Users Consultative Council member, WR, said, “What is pleasant to some ears may be extremely unpleasant to others, depending upon a number of psychological factors."
Similarly, Subhash Gupta, president of the Rail Yatri Parishad said, “The nuisance of playing music loudly can be tackled in public transport in the manner in which ticketless travellers and those sitting on seats reserved for ladies and senior citizens are, by displaying warnings and penalising violators through an authorised person.”
Sumaira Abdulali, founder of Awaaz Foundation, an NGO involved in curbing noise pollution, said, “One person may enjoy it but others may be troubled. Continuously listening to unwanted sound definitely affects a person, mentally and otherwise.”
“For one person’s enjoyment, others mustn’t be troubled. Everybody is worn out while travelling and if somebody is getting irritated with loud music, it may lead to fights also,” said Rajiv Singhal, another divisional railway users consultative council member, WR.
“The railway administration is doing the right thing. We should welcome the move and co-operate with them. Passenger bodies are in complete harmony with this,” he said .
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