Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday, May 22, announced that the state government would bear the travel expense of the migrant workers and stranded persons seeking to go back to their respective states by Shramik Special trains till May 31, 2020. This comes after some migrant workers expressed their inability to bear the travel expenditure to return to their hometown. Yediyurappa asserted that it was his firm belief that the migrant workers are "our own people" and that they must be supported by the State Government. Currently, there are 1605 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Karnataka out of which 571 patients have been discharged while 41 casualties have been reported.
Government has considered the plea of migrant workers who were unable to bear the travel expenditure to go back to their home town.— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) May 22, 2020
2/3— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) May 22, 2020
Government considers migrant workers, who have come from far flung parts of our country, as our own people and it is my firm belief that they too must be supported by the State.
3/3— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) May 22, 2020
Therefore Karnataka Government will bear the cost of travel of migrant workers and stranded persons to their respective States by Shramik Trains up to 31st may, 2020. #KarnatakaFightsCorona #IndiaFightsCoronavirus
Addressing a press briefing on Thursday, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal highlighted the contribution of the Railways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentioning that about 30 lakh migrant workers have been transported to their destination stations via 2,050 Shramik Special trains, he opined that the CM who took the most advantage of these trains was Yogi Adityanath. According to him, around 1,054 Shramik Special trains had been run in Uttar Pradesh in comparison to West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand which had permitted the operation of only 27, 35 and 96 trains respectively.
Meanwhile, the Railways Ministry commenced the booking for the 200 new passenger train services from 10 am on Thursday. To be operational from June 1, these trains shall supplement the Shramik Special trains and special AC trains being run so far. These trains having both AC and non-AC shall be fully reserved. Furthermore, all passengers must download and use the Aarogya Setu app. While provision for prepaid meal booking and e-catering shall be disabled, limited eatables and packaged drinking water on a payment basis would be available in select trains. The passengers shall adhere to health protocols prescribed by the destination state or Union Territory.