Railways revises guidelines for 'Shramik' trains, allows more passengers
The Railways ministry has modified guidelines for 'Shramik' special trains, which ferry migrant labourers from various states during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The ministry has also decided to increase the capacity of these special trains from existing 1,200 to more than 1,700. The revised guidelines state that the capacity of these trains should be equal to the number of sleeper berths.
Also, these trains can now have up to three stoppages (excluding the terminating station).
The ministry has also appealed to all states, especially whose which have allowed very few trains, to give approvals liberally. The issue was discussed in Home Secretary's meeting with states on Sunday and he has written a letter to them.
Home Minister Amit Shah has appealed to West Bengal in particular which has very low number.
In his letter, Home Ministry Ajay Bhalla said that all the states and union territories should cooperate with railways in running more 'Shramik' special trains for migrant workers.
He also asked states and union territories to ensure that migrant workers do not resort to walking on roads, rail tracks and use available special trains
The Indian Railways has operated 428 'Shramik' special trains since May 1 and ferried home more than 4.5 lakh migrants stranded in various parts of the country amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, officials said on Sunday.
Till May 9, out of the 287 trains which had terminated, 127 terminated in Uttar Pradesh, 87 in Bihar, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 20 in Odisha, 16 in Jharkhand, four in Rajasthan, three in Maharashtra, two each in Telangana and West Bengal, and one each in Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, the officials further said.
(Inputs and image from hindustantimes.com)