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Indian Railways and IRCTC to Include Transgender Option in Railway Ticket Forms

In a commendable move, Indian Railways and IRCTC have included "transgender as the third gender" in the option in ticket reservation and cancellation forms alongside male and female

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New Delhi, November 27, 2016: In a commendable move, Indian Railways and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have included “transgender as the third gender” in the option in ticket reservation and cancellation forms alongside male and female.

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According to PTI, “The decision which was taken on a representation made by a lawyer will include the facility for reservations and cancellations, both online as well offline.”
The Delhi-based lawyer made the representation after the Delhi High Court in February asked him to approach the Railway Ministry while disposing of his petition.

The ministry in its circular referred to the direction of the apex court of April 2014 and said that eunuchs, hijras, apart from binary gender, be treated as third gender for the protection of their rights.

“Supreme Court (in the judgement) has directed that Hijras, Eunuchs, apart from binary gender, be treated as the third gender for the purpose of safeguarding their rights under Part III of our Constitution and the laws made by the parliament and the State Legislature. “

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“It has, therefore, been decided to include the third gender/transgender option alongside male/female in reservation /cancellation requisition form. This information will be captured by the system and tickets to transgender will be issued on full fare,” the circular stated.

Before the High Court, Advocate Jamshed Ansari in his PIL had alleged violation of Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution by IRCTC, by non-inclusion of “transgender/third gender” as a gender option in its reservation and cancellation forms.

He had also sought compliance of the apex court judgment in which it directed the Centre as well as the state governments to recognise transgender as the third sex, and to give them with the benefits provided to socially and economically backward classes.

The advocate further demanded reserved seats and special coaches for the transgender community in all trains, for their protection and care.

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On which the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini had asked the ministry to look into the allegation made in the writ petition.

prepared by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Indian Railways Will Promote Heritage Tourism By Preserving Its Metre-Gauge Tracks

The trains are allowed to run at a maximum speed of 30 km per hour, which reduces to 20 km per hour in accident-prone areas.

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Indian Railways
Indian Railways. Wikimedia Commons

Moving beyond the five hill networks that are major tourist attractions, Indian Railways is planning to also preserve its old five-metre gauge tracks built during its early days in the British era to promote heritage tourism.

“As part of the strategy to preserve the metre-gauge lines, Indian Railways is planning to preserve few metre-gauge lines, which have the potential to attract more tourists,” a senior Railway Ministry official told IANS, requesting anonymity.

Indian railways presented an integrated mobile application to cater to various passenger requirements, including ticket booking, inquiry, on-board cleaning and ordering meal on a single platform.
Indian Railways to promote tourism by preserving its meter gauge tracks.

“The decision to preserve the metre-gauge lines was taken at a meeting on February 3. Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, stressing on the need to preserve the metre-gauge lines to promote the heritage structures of Indian Railways, asked the officials to identify such railway tracks on which the tourism can be promoted,” the official said.

“Thus we have identified five lines for preservation — the 42.27 km Visavadar-Talala line in Gujarat, the 16 km Mhow-Patalpani-Kalakand line in Madhya Pradesh, the 162 km Mavli Junction-Marwar Junction line in Rajasthan, the 171 km Nanpur-Mailani line in Uttar Pradesh and the 47 km Mahur-Harangjao metre-gauge line in Assam,” he said.

Also Read: Facts about Indian Railways you can’t miss

“Four of the metre-gauge lines are in working condition, while the one line located in Assam is not operational right now,” he added. The official also said that the Railway Ministry has written to the zonal railways to check the operational feasibility of these tracks. “Once the response from zonal railways is received by the third week of April, the ministry will formally launch the project,” he said.

Giving details of some of the five lines, the official said: “The Visavadar-Talala metre-gauge line passes through the Gir forest in Gujarat and there is thus a speed restriction. Currently, only three trains pass through this section in the day.”

The Mhow-Patalpani-Kalakund line, the official said, passes through picturesque mountains, valleys, tunnels, ravines and crosses the Choral and Malendi rivers, which makes the journey very memorable, especially after the rains.

Facts about Indian Railways you shouldn't miss. Wikimedia Common
Indian Railways have many tracks and trains with historic importance. Wikimedia Common

According to the official, this line was laid by the British about 150 years ago and passes through of the Vindhyachal mountain range. The official said that the Nanpur-Mailani metre-gauge railway track in Uttar Pradesh crosses through the Dudhwa Tiger reserve. The Railways currently operates six trains on the section. The trains are allowed to run at a maximum speed of 30 km per hour, which reduces to 20 km per hour in accident-prone areas.

The British laid this track in the 19th century for transporting timber from Nepal’s forests and from the forests on the border. Currently, the five hill trains — Darjeeling Himalayan train, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Kangra Valley Railway and Matheran Hill Railway — are a major attraction for tourists in India. IANS