Covid-19 special trains are almost on a `secret mission'

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on May 02, 2020

Police personnel applaud for migrants on their arrival by a special train, during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, in Prayagraj, Saturday, May 2, 2020.   -  PTI

An open announcement may lead to crowding of railway stations and trains may be disrupted en-route.

The Covid19 special trains being commissioned to take back stranded migrant workers to their native places almost seem to be on a 'secret mission', given how little is known about them.

The State Government and railways are neither announcing the schedule of the trains in public nor giving too much of advance notice to the migrants.

Interestingly even most of the railway staff are also in the dark.

The state governments are taking the lead in coordination with the Railways given the logistics involved in sending the migrants to stations. A nodal officer has also been appointed in each of the states. 

``The reasons for being secretive are many. An open announcement may lead to crowding of railway stations and may create law and order problem too,'' a senior railway official told BusinessLine.

The district collectors are identifying the migrant workers and their destinations and sending them to railway stations in coordination with the state government and railways.

``If the destination is known, the trains may be disrupted en-route, and non-migrant workers too might try to board to travel, and all this may lead to non-maintenance of social distance and other troubles,'' the official said.

Considering these factors, it is being preferred to announce the details only after a train has left for its destination.

The Indian Railways has been running special trains from different states to provide relief to nearly 10 million (as per govt estimates) migrant workers who are stranded in different parts of the country.

First Shramik special train, carrying 1225 workers from Lingampalli in Telangana reached Hatia in Jharkhand last night at 23.15 hours.   -  @RailMinIndia

The Telangana Government has already arranged a special train from Hyderabad (Limgampally) to Jharkhand (Hatia) for 1,200 migrant workers, and other states are also in the process of arranging the trains to different destinations.


Published on May 02, 2020

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