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On May Day, Railways announces a ‘Shramik special’ train for migrants

Railways has decided to run “Shramik Special” trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other stranded persons

  • These special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the concerned state governments as per the standard protocols

  • The passengers have to be screened by the states sending them and only those found asymptomatic would be allowed to travel

New Delhi: As per the guideline issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Railways has decided to run “Shramik Special” trains, starting Friday, to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to the lockdown, the Railways said on May Day. 

These special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the concerned state governments as per the standard protocols for sending and receiving such stranded persons. The Railways and state governments shall appoint senior officials as nodal officers for coordination and smooth operation of these “Shramik Special” trains.

‘Shramik special’ train passengers will be allowed to travel only if asymptomatic

“The passengers have to be screened by the states sending them and only those found asymptomatic would be allowed to travel. Sending state governments will have to bring these persons in batches, as many as can be accommodated in the train to the designated Railway station, in sanitised buses following social distancing norms and other precautions. It will be mandatory for every passenger to wear face cover. Meals and drinking water would be provided to the passengers by the sending states at the originating station,” said a press release from the Ministry of Railways.

Railways will provide meals on longer routes

The Railways will endeavour to ensure social distancing norms and hygiene with the cooperation of passengers. On longer routes, the Railways will provide a meal enroute during the journey. The tickets for these trains are priced at Sleeper Class tickets. On arrival at the destination, passengers will be received by the respective state governments, who would make all arrangements for their screening, quarantine, if necessary, and will arrange for further travel from the Railway station.

The backdrop

The news comes as several migrant labourers and students have been stranded in various parts of the country because of the COVID lockdown. With all modes of transport standing suspended, they have not been able to travel to their hometowns since March 24. The train announced by the Railways is a special train meant only for stranded people. During the course of the lockdown, the Railways has only been operating freight services.