The Union Home Ministry called upon all the states and union territories to cooperate with railways in running more ‘Shramik’ special trains for migrant workers who are trying to reach home.
“I urge upon you all to allow receiving of all Shramik special trains without any hindrance and facilitate faster movement of stranded migrant workers to their native places,” the letter from Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a letter to states.
In the letter, he also asked all states and union territories to oversee that no migrant resorts to walking on roads, rail tracks, and use available special trains.
Since May 1, the Indian Railways has ferried home more than 4.5 lakh migrants in 428 ‘Shramik’ special trains from various parts of the country amid the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said on Sunday.
Till May 9, out of the 287 trains which had terminated, 127 terminated in Uttar Pradesh, 87 in Bihar, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 20 in Odisha, 16 in Jharkhand, four in Rajasthan, three in Maharashtra, two each in Telangana and West Bengal, and one each in Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, the officials further said.
These trains have ferried migrants to cities such as Tiruchchirappalli, Titlagarh, Barauni, Khandwa, Jagannathpur, Khurda Road, Chhapra, Balia, Gaya, Purnia, Varanasi.
Every such train 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 in order to maintain social distancing norms.