Thane: A consumer court has asked Central Railway authorities to pay Rs 20,000 to a senior citizen who suffered hardship as he was neither informed in advance about cancellation of his coach in train, nor provided proper alternative travel arrangements.

The Thane District Consumer Redressal Forum gave the order on a complaint of Pooransingh Mehra of Vadavali in Thane's Ambernath township. He stated that on February 8, 2011, he had booked a ticket to travel on May 2 from Kalyan to Bareilly in train 14313 Mumbai LTT-Bareilly Express. He was issued a confirmed reserved berth no. 60 in AC sleeper coach B-2. However, on the day of journey when he reached Kalyan station, there was an announcement that coach B-1 had been cancelled and B-2 was 14th from the engine.

Accordingly, the complainant walked the entire distance and boarded the B-2 coach and occupied berth 60. At Manmad station, the ticket checker asked him to vacate the seat as it was reserved for someone else and informed him that he was allotted a berth in II class sleeper coach which was attached as substitute for B-2.

Mehra also said in his complaint that on the day of his journey, there was an announcement at Kalyan station that coach B-1 had been cancelled and B-2 was 14th from engine. But the ticket checker would not listen to him at all and forced him to leave his berth.

As a result of the change of berth from AC to non-AC, he had to face hardships in his travel upto Bareilly. Mehra said he did not accept the berth in II class sleeper coach and instead travelled the entire distance sitting on the footboard of coach B-2. He said that he was ill for next five days and had to spend Rs 8,710 on his medical treatment. He also stated that he was diabetic and a heart patient.

He sought a refund of Rs 843 travel fare, and also claimed medical expenses of Rs 8,710 and legal expenses. He said that he had sent a notice to the railways for the same, but did not get any response and hence, approached the consumer forum.