The Union Home Ministry has asked all the states and union territories to cooperate with railways in running more ‘Shramik’ special trains for migrant workers.
“I urge upon you all to allow receiving of all Shramik special trains without any hindrance and facilitate faster movement of stranded migrant workers to their native places,” Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a letter to states.
In the letter, he also asked states and union territories to ensure that migrant workers do not resort to walking on roads, rail tracks and use available special trains
The Indian Railways has operated 428 ‘Shramik’ special trains since May 1 and ferried home more than 4.5 lakh migrants stranded in various parts of the country amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, officials said on Sunday.
Till May 9, out of the 287 trains which had terminated, 127 terminated in Uttar Pradesh, 87 in Bihar, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 20 in Odisha, 16 in Jharkhand, four in Rajasthan, three in Maharashtra, two each in Telangana and West Bengal, and one each in Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, the officials further said.
These trains have ferried migrants to cities such as Tiruchchirappalli, Titlagarh, Barauni, Khandwa, Jagannathpur, Khurda Road, Chhapra, Balia, Gaya, Purnia, Varanasi.
Every ‘Shramik’ special train has 24 coaches, each with a capacity of 72 seats. However, only 54 people are allowed in a coach and the middle berth is not allotted to any passenger to maintain social distancing norms.
Since the ‘Shramik’ special train service started, Gujarat has remained one of the top originating stations followed by Kerala.