‘Over 1.4 million stranded migrant workers repatriated till May 15 midnight’: Indian Railways

The Indian Railways has repatriated over 1.4 million stranded migrant laborers to their home states till the midnight of May 15 across the country. A tweet from the ministry said. To attain this figure the ministry operated over one thousand ‘Shramik special’ trains and in the coming days it is expected to transport up to 3 lakhs passengers per day. Tweet added.

Till the midnight of May 15, the ministry has operated 1074 ‘Shramik Special’ trains. During the last 3 days, more than 2 lakh persons have been transported per day,” , the ministry in a statement said.

According to report, with effect from May 13, the IRCTC has also started taking the destination address of all passengers who are booking tickets. The move would help in Covid-19 contact tracing if required, the railways said.

‘Shramik’ which is specially designed to carry stranded migrant workers amidst Coronavirus pandemic  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. The government  earlier this month started operating ‘Shramik’ trains to carry stranded migrant laborers across the country to their native places amid the coronavirus lockdown. The ministry also began 15 interstate passenger train services on May 12. 15 trains, starting from the national capital and connecting various cities across the country, started operations on May 12.

In the wake of reports that, migrant workers are stranded in various cities without having adequate transport arrangements, the Union Home Ministry had earlier asked all the states and union territories to cooperate with railways in running more ‘Shramik’ special trains for migrant workers.

In the letter, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla 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.