Indian Railways has operated around 1150 ‘Shramik Special’ trains, UP allows most migrants to return
More than 15 Lakh stranded people transported back to their home State
Proper screening of passengers is ensured. Passengers are being given free meals and water
New Delhi: The Ministry of Railways has operated around 1150 ‘Shramik Special’ trains as of May 16 and repatriated over 15 lakh stranded migrant labourers to their native places across the country amid the Covid19 lockdown, a notification from the Ministry stated.
Subsequent to the Ministry of Home Affairs order regarding movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places by special trains, Indian Railways had decided to operate “Shramik Special” trains.
To quick ferry stranded migrants to their home state, the Railway Minister on Saturday said the Indian Railways is ready to run ”Shramik Special” trains from any district in the country, and asked district collectors to prepare a list of migrant workers stranded in their region.
Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, has asked the district collectors of the country to prepare a list of stranded labourers and destination, and apply it to Railways through State nodal officer. Indian Railways has got the capacity to run almost 300 Shramik special trains a day, however, less than half are being presently utilised.
Full capacity operation of the railways Rakes would provide significant relief to the migrants across the country who are seeking to go to their home states. Indian Railways is ready to augment the running of Shramik special trains as per the actual needs of the districts
Piyush Goyal took to twitter and announced, “To provide relief to migrant labour, Indian Railways is ready to run “Shramik Special” trains from any District in the Country. District Collectors should prepare lists of stranded labour & destination and apply to Railways through the State nodal officer. Along with this, the District Collectors should give a list and destination to the State Nodal Officer of Railways.”
The Minister made announcement following a large number of migrants trying to reach their home state through walk or travelling in trucks or autos.
As of today, more than 15 lakh migrants have already been transported by the Railways to their home states and almost 1150 Shramik Special trains have been operationalised. Indian Railways can easily transport almost double number of migrants per day.
Once the information about migrants wishing to go back to their home states is made available from each district, then Indian Railways can take further action to help operationalise the trains.
In Shramik Special Trains, proper screening of passengers is ensured before boarding the train. During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water.
However, the operation of these trains has led to a political mudslinging with the Opposition accusing the Centre of charging fare from migrants. The Central Government has clarified that the fare is being shared on a 85-15 ratio by the Railways and the State governments. It also said that it has the capacity to run 300 Shramik Specials per day. Railway Minister has already appealed to states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to approve more trains.