While addressing a virtual press brief, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal revealed that over 1,49,025 tickets had been booked in about two hours for the first set of 73 special passenger trains that were beginning their operation from June 1.
"In the last two and a half hours, over 1.4 lakh tickets have been booked for second class passenger trains which start from June 1. So many people want to go home. Also, there are so many people who want to return to work in cities which is a very good sign," said the Railway Minister.
Piyush Goyal stated that the booking of train tickets will resume at over 1.7 lakh common service centres from Friday across the country. Bookings will also resume at counters of different stations in the next 2-3 days, announcing that a protocol was being developed in this regard. Indian Railways is planning to resume operation of over 200 passenger trains from June 1.
"We are going to announce the resumption of more trains in the upcoming days. We have also permitted the operation of shops at railway stations. However, only takeaways will be allowed," said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
While speaking about the efforts of the Indian Railways in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, Piyush Goyal said that they had been committed that there should be no shortage of food grains and shortage of coal anywhere in the country. "Indian Railways has contributed to combating the Corona epidemic. The vision of an 'isolation ward' in the railway coaches was put forward by Prime Minister Modi. After that, we immediately got into this work and under a protocol, about five thousand railway coaches were converted into isolation wards," he said.
On Government's efforts to ferry back the lakhs of stranded migrants across the country Piyush Goyal said, "Till date, about 30 lakh migrant labourers have been transported to their destination stations through 2,050 workers special trains. In this campaign, if any state and the chief minister of any state helped us the most and took advantage of this Shramik special train, it is Yogi Adityanath Ji, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh."
"Around 1,054 Shramik special trains ran in Uttar Pradesh. Till date, the state of Jharkhand has allowed only 96 trains, Rajasthan has so far completed 35 trains. I expect all the states to allow their people to come to their homes and help us reach them by driving the train. Till date, we have been able to run only 27 trains in West Bengal. You may remember that till May 8 or 9, only 2 trains could reach there," said Goyal.