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Railways To Screen Migrants, Provide Meals For Long-distance Passengers: MoS Suresh Angadi

MoS Suresh Angadi said screening of migrants who will be ferried back to their native towns in special trains will be done by Railways, meals too will be given

The screening of migrants who will be ferried back to their native towns in special trains will be done by Railways and meals will be provided for long-distance passengers, the Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi informed on Friday. In a major development on Friday, the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed special trains to be operated by the Ministry of Railways for movement of stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists and students.

This comes after several Chief Ministers had urged the Home Ministry to ply special trains to facilitate the movement of migrants considering the long-distance and a large number of individuals stranded. The Home Ministry had permitted inter-state movement of stranded persons amid the lockdown on Wednesday.

Speaking to Republic TV, Suresh Angadi said, "The screening of travellers will be done by Railways and meals will be provided for long-distance passengers. Yesterday, Karnataka requested me for such a facility and many other States are asking for the same too. The States should follow the guidelines laid out by the Home Ministry."

READ | MHA Permits Movement Of Stranded Persons By Train, Railways To Run 'Shramik Special'

States should take responsibility

He further stated that concerned States should take responsibility and make arrangements for such migrants. "Both the States, sending migrants and receiving them, must share the details with the Nodal Officers appointed. Then, it'll be easy to reach their destination," Angadi said.

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Hygiene to be maintained

The Minister also said that the Railways will ensure sanitisation and maintenance of hygiene in trains and stations. Railway staff will be asked to wear masks all the time and the same will be mandatory for passengers. Suresh Angadi added that the Railway Board will come out with detailed guidelines as per the Home Ministry's orders.

READ | COVID-19: India Sees Highest Rise Of 1993 Cases In A Day Amid Talks Of Lockdown Relaxation

Special trains

In the notice issued by the Home Ministry on Friday, it has stated that the Ministry of Railways will designate nodal officers for coordinating with states and Union Territories for the movement of stranded persons. It has also informed that the MoR will issue detailed guidelines for sale of tickets, and for social distancing and other measures to be observed at train stations, train platforms and within the trains. 

These special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the concerned State Governments as per the standard protocols for sending and receiving such stranded persons. The Railways and State Governments shall appoint senior officials as Nodal Officers for coordination and smooth operation of these “Shramik Specials”.

As per MHA guidelines, it has been decided to run "Shramik Special" trains from International Workers' Day on May 1.

READ | Kerala CM Urges Centre To Operate Special Trains To Transport Stranded Migrant Workers

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