With a huge number of migrants yet to return back to their home states, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has stated that the Indian Railways is ready to run 'Shramik Specials' from any district in the country. Taking to Twitter, Goyal informed that the district collectors will have to prepare a list of stranded labourers and their destination and apply to the Railways through the state nodal officers.
The Railways and Commerce Minister also informed that the Indian Railways has facilitated transport of more than 15 lakh stranded persons so far by operating 1150 Shramik Specials. He added that the Railways has transported more than 2 lakh people per day in the past 3 days itself.
To provide relief to migrant labour, Indian Railways is ready to run "Shramik Special" trains from any District in the Country. District Collectors should prepare lists of stranded labour & destination and apply to Railways through the State nodal officer.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) May 16, 2020
Mission "Back Home" in Full Steam: Railways has transported more than 15 lakh stranded people so far by running 1150 Shramik Special Trains.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) May 16, 2020
During the last 3 days, Railways has transported more than 2 lakh people per day. pic.twitter.com/7YwXk4Ijrj
On May 1, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the movement of stranded migrants, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons across India via special trains called 'Shramik trains' operated by the Ministry of Railways. On Thursday, the Centre allowed states and Union Territories to hire private buses to ferry passengers who were arriving at railway stations via special 'Shramik' trains to their homes. The Centre has claimed that 85% of the fare cost was borne by the Centre while 15% was borne by state governments.
After PM Modi had announced the first phase of lockdown, on March 28, thousands of migrant workers were seen thronging the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at Delhi's Anand Vihar Interstate Bus Terminal in the hope of reaching their homes, defying lockdown and creating a health hazard. Similarly, after PM Modi announced the extension of the lockdown till May 3, on April 14, around 2,000 migrant workers gathered at Bandra station, under the illusion of boarding 'Jansdharan Express' trains to UP, Bengal and Bihar. Apart from this several visuals have been seen of thousands of migrants walking across state borders to reach their native homes due to loss of income amid lockdown. Three notable accidents too have occurred killing 82 such on-foot travelling migrants.