From 4 trains a day to 145 per day: Indian Railways ferries lakhs of passengers to their home states amid coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown
Amid the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown, the Indian Railways has ramped up its mission of ferrying passengers back to their home states by running 145 trains per day (as of May 14) in comparison to four trains a day on May 1. The Railways managed to operationalise more than 1,000 such Shram Shakti trains in less 15 days.
In a remarkable achievement, a total 145 Shramik Special trains were operationalized from various states carrying more than 2.10 lakh passengers back to their home states. This is for the first time that on a single day, passenger count on Shramik trains crossed the two lakh mark. It may be recalled that Shramik Trains began operations with just around 5,000 passengers on May 1. Till now more than 12 lacs passengers have reached their home states by these Shramik Special trains.
After the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order, Railways have started running Shramik Special trains from May 1 to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to the lockdown.
The special trains were terminated in various states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
It is worth mentioning that Railways coordination with state governments is geared up to run upto 300 Shramik Special trains per day to transport more than four lakh stranded persons per day in its mission to take all the stranded migrants back home.
These special trains are being run by Railways only after concurrence is given both by the state which is sending the passengers and the state which is receiving them. Proper screening of passengers is ensured before boarding the train. During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water.