Indian Railways on Friday said that it was monitoring each train to ensure smooth provision of food and water. Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman of Railway Board told this to media during press conference on Friday.
Shramik Special Trains are being run by Indian Railways to ferry stranded migrant passengers back to their home state. There were incidents in past weeks where migrant labourers lost their lives as they could not get water and food. The issue hit headlines especially when a video of a toddler trying to wake his dead mother went viral. The toddler's mother, lost her life as she couldn't get water in time.
"We are monitoring each and every train for water and food supply," said Yadav during the press conference.
Yadav said that in normal times, IRCTC takes care of food and water supply through contractors. However, he said, the contractors are not able to find workers owing to coronavirus pandemic in the country.
There were also instances of trains initially planned to go at a particular destination ending up going someplace else. Railway Board Chairman said that such instances amounted to 1.4 per cent of total trains run. He said that out of more than 3 thousand trains run, 71 had to be diverted.
Yadav added that some diversions had to take place as Indian Railways was trying to quickly respond to requests made by states in the country.
Yadav acknowledged co-operation from the states by saying that receiving states arranged for food and water for migrant workers travelling by Shramik Special Trains.
Railway Board Chairman advised pregnant women, persons with co-morbidities, children below the age of 10 and senior citizens above the age of 65 to avoid rail travel unless it was absolutely necessary.
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