New Delhi, May 15 : Amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Indian Railways on Friday said that it has ferried more than 11.5 lakh stranded people since May 1 in over 999 Shramik Special trains.
Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday took to Twitter and wrote, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 1,000 Shramik Special trains have been approved for ferrying migrant workers to their homes.”
The Minister further said, “Yesterday 145 Shramik trains ran for the migrant labours. 75 per cent of the total Shramik Special trains are running for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.”
The Rail Minister slammed the state governments of states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, and said, “The Railways is ready to ferry workers to their homes by running 300 Shramik special trains daily, but sadly a few states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are not allowing these trains due to which migrant workers are suffering and are away from home.”
A railway spokesperson said that till May 15, a total of 999 Shramik Special trains have been operationalized from various states across the country.
“More than 11.5 lakh passengers have reached their home states. Trains are being run by the railways only after concurrence is given both by the state, which is sending the passengers, and the state, which is receiving them,” he said.
The official also said, these special trains were terminated in various states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
The official further said that proper screening of passengers is ensured before boarding the train. “During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water,” he said.
The Indian Railways started to run the Shramik Special train from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists across the country.