Indian Railways reduced the official sleeping hours in trains by an hour to end the fights over berths and oversleeping passengers.
Permissible sleeping time has been changed from 9pm-6am to 10pm-6am in reserved coaches, allowing passengers to sit in their seats for the remaining time.
However, sick passengers, disabled persons, and pregnant ladies would be allowed to sleep beyond the permitted limits.
Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena's statement
Ministry of Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena stated: "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."
Problem more acute for side berths: Railway officials
Officials say lower berth passengers go to sleep immediately after boarding the train, day or night, causing trouble to co-passengers on upper and middle berths.
Some middle berth passengers refuse to get up, forcing those on lower and upper berths to sit uncomfortably.
The circular clarified side-upper berth passengers cannot claim side-lower berths between 10pm-6pm; side-lower berth passengers face more trouble over berths.
An effort to provide comfortable travel to train passengers
The Railways' new provision replaces paragraph 652 of the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I that provides for sleeping accommodation between 9pm-6am.
Anil Saxena said the provision applies to all the reserved coaches in trains having sleeping accommodation.
Railways Ministry officials said the rules would also help Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) resolve passengers' disputes and prevent them from sleeping beyond the permitted time.