The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on May 1st, 2020 allowed the use of special trains for movement of migrant labourers, tourists, students, pilgrims and other people stranded at different places across the country amid lockdown due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Indian Railways will run ‘Shramik Special’ trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lockdown.
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 Specials’.
“The passengers have to be screened by the sending states and only those found asymptomatic would be allowed to travel. Sending State Governments will have to bring these persons in batches that can be accommodated in the train to the designated Railway Station in sanitized buses following social distancing norms and other precautions,” the Ministry of Railways said.
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.
“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 en route during the journey,” the Ministry added.
On arrival at the destination, passengers will be received by the State Government, who would make all arrangements for their screening, quarantine if necessary and further travel from the Railway Station.
“At this point of time of crisis faced by the nation, all officers and staff of the Indian Railways are committed to serving our fellow Indians and seeks everyone’s support and cooperation,” the Ministry stated.
The Ministry of Railways run the first special train on May 1st, 2020 to ferry stranded migrants hit by coronavirus induced lockdown from Telangana to Jharkhand.
The train carrying about 1,200 migrant labourers set off from Lingampally in Telangana for Hatia in Jharkhand at 4:50 am.
Photo credit: DNA India