New Delhi, May 23, 2020: A joint press conference of the Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was held today. On this occasion, Joint Secretary of the MHA Punya Salila Srivastava said that so far more than 2600 special trains have been run, more than 35 lakh migrants have taken advantage of these trains. The number of Shramik special trains has now crossed 200 per day. More than 40 lakh people have travelled by buses. From June 2, the Railways will run more special trains for which 14 lakh bookings have been done.
Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that the Indian Railways started special Shramik trains on May 1. Free food and drinking water are being provided to all the passengers. Social distancing and hygiene protocols are being followed in trains and stations. 80% of train trips have been done by migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
He said that to increase economic activity, it has been decided to run 200 more special trains from June 1. During this time complaints were coming that the labour brothers are unable to make the booking, so it was decided to open the ticket counter. The trains being run for migrant workers are being run with the coordination of the state government. If required, trains will be scheduled even after 10 days.
He said that the Indian Railways and the State Governments together have made a schedule for the next 10 days and 2600 trains will be run. 36 lakh passengers will be able to travel in it. If more number of migrants want to go to their home from any station, then train service will be provided for them also. He said that most of the trains were run for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand. Very few trains were run for West Bengal. They allowed only 105 trains. He said that due to the cyclone in West Bengal there has been damage. The Chief Secretary has said that when the restoration work is done, they will give information and after that trains will be run.
Vinod Kumar Yadav said, “we had replaced 5,000 rail coaches as 80,000-bed COVID care centres. Since some of these were not yet being used, we used 50 percent of these coaches for Shramik trains. They will again be used to care for Corona patients when needed.”