As the third phase of the Coronavirus lockdown started in the country, the Indian Railways has started 6 special trains to ferry migrant workers. The six special trains are being termed as Shramik specials, which will help transfer the migrant workers, along with students, pilgrims, tourists, and other people who are stranded in different states. The first train already reached the destination yesterday night in Hatia, Jharkhand.
Image courtesy: Ministry of Home Affairs website
How to book special trains during lockdown?
- No passenger should go to the stations to get a ticket. The passenger trains are still non-functional till May 17, 2020, as the national lockdown got extended. However, freight and parcel trains would still remain functional.
- Only the people identified and registered by the state government would be allowed to travel on these special trains. According to the MHA guidelines, bulk tickets for registered workers would be provided by the state itself. So there is no sale of train tickets for individuals.
- The Ministry of Railways has appointed nodal officers, who will act as a coordinating liaison between the stranded passengers and the respective State/UT.
- The nodal officers would register all the stranded people within their State/UT. The passengers would be screened at the sending states and only asymptomatic people would be allowed to travel. The state governments will bring these people in sanitised buses to ferry them to the sending station.
- Stranded migrants, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons across India can travel to their home states after contacting the nodal officer of their state and giving a valid reason for the travel.
- Only those stranded passengers would be allowed to travel who are registered and identified by the state government.
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What is the ticket fare for Shramik special trains during lockdown?
- The ticket fares would be borne by the respective state government and they would be charged the cost of a sleeper class ticket, a superfast charge of Rs 30, and a meals charge for Rs 20 per passenger.
- The government has strictly told the passengers not to buy anything from the train, as the state governments would be co-ordinating for the fares on behalf of the passengers. For long-distance trains, the fare is inclusive of meals and water as well.
Image courtesy: Ministry of Railways
- States including Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Telangana have requested special trains. This is to transfer the stranded migrant workers back to their home states.
- 5 more special trains are slated to run -
- Nasik to Lucknow
- Aluva to Bhubaneswar
- Nasik to Bhopal
- Jaipur to Patna
- Kota to Hatia
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On Friday, May 1, International Workers' Day, Indian Railways ran the first train during the lockdown. The train carried over 1200 migrants from Lingampally in Telangana to Hatia in Jharkhand and reached the destination at 23.15 hrs on May 1. The train was of 24 coaches and people were following social distancing rules inside the train as well, as no middle berths were being appointed to maintain a basic distance from each other inside the Sleeper 3 tire special trains.
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