Data Focus

79% of Shramik trains were operated to UP, Bihar, West Bengal between May and August

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on October 22, 2020 Published on October 22, 2020

Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Punjab reported 49% outgoing trains

Out of 4,621 Shramik Special trains operated across the country between May and August during the lockdown, about 79 per cent of trains headed to three States — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal — indicating that the maximum number of migrants were from these States. Which States had they migrated to for work opportunities? Going by the government data, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Punjab reported 49 per cent of the total outgoing trains carrying over 33 lakh migrants to their home States.

In order to contain the spread of the Covid -19 pandemic, all passenger-carrying trains of the Indian Railways were cancelled from March 23. In order to carry stranded passengers and migrant workers back to their home States, the government organised Shramik Specials as “trains on-demand” as and when the State governments requisitioned.

The data presented by the Ministry of Railways in the Lok Sabha last month showed that of the outgoing trains from States, 1,033 trains carried 15,32,712 migrant workers/ stranded passengers from Gujarat to other States. While 817 trains went out of Maharashtra carrying 12,41,573 migrant workers/ stranded passengers, Punjab operated 429 trains carrying 5,28,587 people. Over 52 per cent of total migrants/ stranded passengers who travelled in Shramik Specials to reach their home States were from these three States.

Uttar Pradesh tops the list of States when it comes to incoming trains. 1,726 trains terminated in Uttar Pradesh while 1,627 in Bihar. West Bengal received 284 trains. The data of incoming migrant workers/ passengers was not available in the figures presented by the Railways. From May to August, Shramik Specials carried 63.19 lakh passengers to their home States.



Fares collected

“The Railways collected fares for Shramik Special trains from the State governments or their authorised representatives. It did not collect any fare directly from the passengers,” the Ministry of Railways told the Lok Sabha. The fare collected from State governments or from their representatives for the period was about ₹433 crore.


According to the Railways, it could recover only a small fraction of expenditure incurred on the running of Shramik Special trains, thereby incurring a loss in the operation of these trains.

As per figures available with the Railways, 97 persons were reported dead till September 11 while travelling onboard Shramik Special Trains during the Covid-19 crisis. Of these, the State police sent dead bodies for post mortem in 87 cases. 51 post mortem reports have been obtained from respective State Police so far, in which the reasons for deaths were shown as cardiac arrest, heart disease, brain haemorrhage, pre-existing chronic disease, chronic lung disease, chronic liver disease etc.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on October 22, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor