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No consent required from destination States to run Shramik Special trains: Railways

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 19, 2020

The Railways, on Tuesday, said the consent of the destination States is not required to operate Shramik Special trains — the non-AC trains for which States book tickets — hours after the Home Ministry issued a standard operating procedure for the national transporter to run these trains to ferry migrants to their native places.

“Consent of terminating State not necessary to run Shramik Special trains,” said an official. “After the new SoP, the implication is that no consent of receiving State is mandatory,” he said.

It is not clear what will happen if the receiving States do not have quarantine facilities due to a sudden influx of people at this stage of Covid-19 spread.

The Ministry of Home Affairs issued a circular on April 29, allowing people movement on roads. Then on May 1, it came out with another circular, issuing a separate protocol for Railways. Now, the Home Ministry has withdrawn its May 1 circular and issued an SOP for Railways, said the official.

As on May 19, 1595 trains have been operationalised, and 21 lakh passengers have reached their destinations, said an official release.

The move comes in the backdrop of a political slugfest between the Centre and States. The Home Ministry and Railways have claimed at different points of time that States are not giving permission to receive trains with migrant labourers.

Meanwhile, migrant labourers continued to walk on road, looking for ways to reach their homes.

The 1595 trains originated from various States such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry UT, Punjab, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal.

Also, the Shramik Special Trains were terminated in various States like UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.

Proper screening of passengers is ensured before they board the train. During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water, the Railways said.

Published on May 19, 2020

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