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Shramik Special trains will now ferry nearly 1,700 migrants; to have 3 stops in destination state

In a new order, the MHA has said it would run more such trains without any hindrances and would also facilitate the faster movement of migrant workers who are stranded in different parts of the country.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: May 11, 2020 12:27 IST
More Shramik Special trains for migrants
Image Source : PTI

More Shramik Special trains for migrants with increased capacity

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in a letter to all states and Union Territories, has sought cooperation with the Railways Ministry, in running more shramik special trains. In a new order, the MHA has said it would run more such trains without any hindrances and would also facilitate the faster movement of migrant workers who are stranded in different parts of the country. The shramik special trains will ferry migrants to their native cities, the MHA has said. 

Taking to Twitter, the Spokesperson of the MHA said, "MHA writes to all States/UTs to cooperate with @RailMinIndia in running more #ShramikSpecialTrains without any hindrance & facilitate faster movement of stranded #MigrantWorkers to their native places. They may be counseled to not walk on roads & rail tracks."

Meanwhile, in a bid to ferry more migrants, the Railways on Monday decided to carry around 1,700 passengers on board its 'Shramik Special' trains instead of the current 1,200.

According to an order issued, the railway zones have also been asked to provide three stoppages in the destination state other than the final stop, at the request of the state governments.

It also said that the train capacity should be equal to the number of sleeper berths on the train. The 'Shramik Special' trains have 24 coaches with a capacity to carry 72 passengers in each coach.

Currently, these trains are running with 54 passengers in each coach due to social distancing norms.

So far, the Indian Railways has ferried over 5 lakh passengers since May 1.

"The Railways has a capacity to run 300 trains per day and we want to maximise it. We want to carry as many migrants home as possible over the next few days and have appealed to states to send approvals," said a senior official explaining the move.

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 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.

While the railways has not yet announced the cost incurred on the special services, the officials indicate that the national transporter has spent around Rs 80 lakh per service.

The government had earlier stated that the cost of the services has been shared on a 85:15 ratio with states.

Since the Shramik Special train service started, Gujarat has remained one of the top originating stations followed by Kerala.

Bihar and Uttar Pradesh top the list of receiving states. Earlier, the railways drew flak from opposition parties for charging for these services.

In its guidelines, the railways has said the trains will ply only if they have 90 per cent occupancy and the "states should collect the ticket fare". 

Also Read | 366 Shramik Special trains run so far, around 4 lakh migrants ferried: Railways

Also Read | Lucknow: Man found dead in Shramik Special train from Gujarat

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