Amid the lockdown, stranded migrant workers are to be rescued by special trains launched by the railways. The nationwide lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 disease has been extended for two more weeks.
The central government has allowed the movement of migrant workers through ‘Shramik Express’, a special train launched by railways.
Here is all you would like to understand about these trains:
- 10 states who want to bring back their migrant population have requested for the planning of this special train. The states are- Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and lastly Gujarat.
Railways officials said that these trains will run daily and their number will be slowly increased.
- The railways informed that 1200 passengers will be traveling in total per train. With 24 coaches and each coach can carry 72 passengers but only 54 are to be allowed due to social distancing.
- The fare to be collected by passengers includes the price of regular sleeper class tickets plus superfast charges of Rs 30 and an additional charge of Rs 20. The railway’s ministry has said that state governments pay the fare on passengers’ behalf.
With only one meal to be provided for trains that run for more than 12 hours, it has asked the state governments to provide food packets and water to the passengers at originating stations. Passengers are to be encouraged by the states to download the Arogya Setu application to get updated with the health of the passengers.
- Mumbai is not set as an originating station as Maharashtra has been the worst affected state. Destinations like Bhiwandi and Vasai in Maharashtra, are running the trains. These trains are unlikely to run from containment zones, which include most metro cities.
- Only the names of originating and destination states have been disclosed by railways and no other details have been shared officially. Jharkhand, which has requested 31 trains, tops the list of states who have reached bent the national transporter to assist migrants to return home. It has paid the railways beforehand for its services, said, officials.
- Railways reserves the proper to discontinue ‘Shramik Express’ trains if safety protocols are flouted at any stage, the ministry has said.