Railway travellers will now not be able to use charging points in train coaches at night hours. The Indian Railways has restricted the use of charging points at night to prevent fire accidents. The decision was taken following the Delhi-Dehradun Shatabdi Express that caught fire on March 13. The fire started in a coach and spread to seven other coaches.
The Railways has decided to crack down on smokers too. It is planning to propose an increase in punishment for such offences. Smokers inside the trains are punished under Section 167 of the Railways Act. Passengers found smoking is liable to a fine of up to Rs 100.
"Keeping in mind the safety of passengers, the railways has decided to keep the charging points in trains switched off from 11 pm to 5 am," said Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer of Western Railway.
Several incidents of fire were reported in long-distance trains due to overheating of laptops and mobile phones that were being charged at night. Thakur said that this directive is being implemented in other railway zones as well.
Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of Central Railway said that an intensive safety awareness drive has been launched to educate all stakeholders working in trains and at stations, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.
B Guganesan, CPRO of Southern Railway said that all the divisions of Southern Railway have issued instructions reiterating the procedure of switching off charging points at night.
A Railways official said that the national carrier has alerted employees, including AC mechanics to keep charging points off during the night. Authorities have also decided to conduct surprise checks and take strict action against staff if lapses are found, as mentioned by an official to the daily.