Logistics

Railways to run special trains to move stranded workers, tourists

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 01, 2020

Derailed: A railway coach repurposed as a Covid-19 isolation ward, as Indian Rail, which chugged on even during the 1962 and 1971 wars, ground to a halt   -  THE HINDU / KVS GIRI

Railways will run Shramik Special Trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lockdown. These special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the concerned State Governments based on Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines.

The first such special train was run from Lingampalli (Telangana) to Hatia (Jharkhand) on request of the Telangana Government. Five trains are expected to operate on Friday, which include Aluva to Bhubaneswar, Nasik to Lucknow, Nasik to Bhopal, Jaipur to Patna and Kota to Hatia.

Each of these trains will carry about 1,000-1,200 passengers, according to an official release. Meals and drinking water would be provided to the passengers by the sending states at the originating station.

State Governments that send passengers will have to bring these persons in batches that can be accommodated in the train to the designated Railway Station in sanitised buses following social distancing norms and other precautions. It will be mandatory for every passenger to wear face cover.

"As per the guideline issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, it has been decided to run “Shramik Special” trains from “Labour Day” today (May 1) , to move migrant workers, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lock down, " said an official statement of the Railways.

Home Ministry has left it to the Railways to issue guidelines regarding tickets. In the first train, the migrants did not reportedly pay for tickets.

These special trains will be run between two points on the request of both the State Governments concerned as per the standard protocols for sending and receiving such stranded persons, said the railways in a statement. The Railways and State Governments shall appoint senior officials as Nodal Officers for coordination and smooth operation of these “Shramik Specials”.

The passengers have to be screened by the sending states and only those found asymptomatic would be allowed to travel, the release said.

The Railways will ensure social distancing norms and hygiene with the cooperation of passengers. On longer routes, the Railways will provide a meal enroute during the journey. On arrival at the destination, passengers will be received by the State Government, who would make all arrangements for their screening, quarantine (if necessary) and further travel from the Railway station.

Published on May 01, 2020

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