NEW DELHI: Since the government has already run the Shramik special trains to ferry migrant workers to their native places, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday issued a Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) that mentions strict adherence to health, hygiene and social distancing.
The SOPs for movement of persons by train include movement of passengers to and fro railway stations only on the confirmed e-ticket and after the compulsory medical screening. Only asymptomatic persons are going to be allowed to travel as per the SOP issued by the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to all state Chief Secretaries and administrators of Union Territories (UTs).
The SOPs are in continuation of Home Ministry's May 1 May 5 5 orders conferred under the Disaster Management Act allowing movement of persons by train. The home Ministry SOPs directed states and UTs for its strict implementation in order that migrant workers can be provided with the railway facility and simultaneously all the norms to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are duly followed. The pandemic has claimed over 2,206 deaths and infected over 67,000 persons across the country till Monday.
Movement of trains shall be permitted by the Ministry of Railways (MoR) in a graded manner in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and MHA, the SOPs mention.
The train schedule, protocols for booking, entry and movement of passengers, and coach service specifications shall be widely publicised by the MoR, it said, adding that the movement of the passengers as well as the driver of the vehicle transporting them to and fro the railway stations from where they shall be allowed to travel on confirmed tickets. It's also mentioned in the SOP that the MoR will provide sanitiser to every passenger at the entry and exit points at the station and in coaches, and all passengers must be wearing face masks during entry and travel.
On arrival at their destinations, the travelling passengers will need to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination states and UT, the SOP reads.
The SOPs followed a fresh order issued by the Home Ministry directing all states and UTs to permit the Shramik special trains to work without any hindrance within their jurisdiction and facilitate faster movement of stranded migrant workers to their native places.