1,200 passengers, 3 Shramik Spl trains leave Delhi with home-bound migrants

new delhi: Since the Railways is running "Shramik Special" and special trains from Delhi to other parts of the country, at least three Shramik Special and nine special trains departed from both New Delhi and Old Delhi railway stations on Wednesday. The railways, which is ferrying passengers stranded due to countrywide lockdown, informed arrival of four trains to Delhi also.

As per the report, nearly 1,200 passengers mainly migrant workers boarded in one Shramik Special train which was destined for three districts of Bihar.

"Thousands of migrant labourers residing in relief centres of the Delhi government were today sent to Bihar. Three Shramik Special trains have left Delhi for Bhagalpur, Barauni and Darbhanga," tweeted Chief Minister Office (CMO) of Delhi government in evening.

Though the Railways has started partial train services in form of special trains, the passengers coming to the New Delhi railway station claimed no transportation facility and hence walking all along the way was the only option. Many who had to take Rajdhani special complained that they were being overcharged by the taxi drivers and auto rickshaws.

"The taxi charged us over Rs 650 for 10 km distance. Earlier, we only paid around Rs 200 from Gautam Nagar of Delhi to the New Delhi railway station."

"I used to stay in a PG to prepare for the MCI examination, as I have completed my MBBS from abroad. But despite the Delhi government's announcement that the tenants don't need to pay the rent, we were forced to pay," he said.

"I am going to Gujarat from the train today. And I paid Rs 500 for the auto rickshaw from Raghuvir Nagar to New Delhi," Bhelji Bhai, who is travelling with his wife and a small child.

"The auto rickshaw charged us Rs 500. Earlier, we used to pay Rs 200 for the same distance. Another student said that as no public transport is available, finding a taxi or auto rickshaw is a tedious task," said another passenger.

"We are travelling back to Jammu from the train today. We paid Rs 700 to a private taxi to drop us till New Delhi railway station from Sangam Vihar," said another traveler. Several others had to walk to reach to the railway station to catch the train as there was no public transport available.

The process of sending migrant labourers back to states through passenger trains also began in Gurugram on Wednesday. Over 1,400 stranded labourers from Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh were sent to their hometown by a special Shramik Train that took off from Gurugram railway station at 9:30 am.

The migrant labourers who were living in the shelter homes in the city were ferried in government buses to the railway stations. To make sure that the workers did not face any trouble while coming to the station, hundreds of Civil Defence Volunteers were deployed to make sure that proper norms of social distancing were being followed.

In the afternoon, over 1,600 labourers from Darbhanga, Bihar also went back by a special train. Based on the official directive, the trains will not stop at any other station other than the destination stops.

Meanwhile, the administrations of both Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad district have said people with confirmed train tickets will face no hurdle while travelling to railway stations in New Delhi. However, clear directions on movement of people coming back to their houses after journey are yet to be confirmed.

"People who are moving to New Delhi or Ghaziabad to catch train and have a confirmed train tickets will be allowed passage. Their train ticket will be treated as a pass while one additional person will also be allowed to drop the traveller," said Suhas LY, District Magistrate Gautam Buddh Nagar.

Also, there is insecurity among the residents as to how they will be allowed movement in and out of the containment zone.

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