Railways have played an important role in evacuating stranded migrant laborers due to Coronavirus lockdown. Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said during the press conference on Saturday that an average of 260 ‘Shramik Special Trains’ were run daily in the last four days and three lakhs passengers were transported daily to the destination. Over 2600 labor trains were run in various states and more than 26 lakhs passengers were transported to their homes. He said that 80 percent of the trains ran for UP and Bihar.
Vinod Yadav said that on May 1, Shramik Special trains were started. Free food and drinking water are being provided to all the passengers. Sanitation protocols are being followed in trains and stations and social distancing rules are also being followed.
2600 trains to run in next 10 days
The chairman of the Railway Board said that schedules of 2600 trains have been fixed in the next 10 days. He said that in order to restore normalcy, 200 Mail Express trains will be run by the Ministry of Railways from June 1. Vinod Yadav said that we have converted 5 thousand coaches into Covid-19 care centers, which had 80 thousand beds. About 50 percent of these coaches have been used for labor special trains. If needed, it can be used again for Covid-19 care.
However, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that more than 35 lakhs laborers have gone home. Home Ministry spokeswoman Punya Salila Srivastava said that several steps have been taken by the government for migrant laborers. States have been instructed to make arrangements. 24-hour helpline and noodle officers have been appointed. States have been asked to provide information to migrant laborers. Along with this, all the necessary things are being arranged and the states have been instructed to make arrangements. Currently, more than 150 trains are running daily.
Workers’ special trains are being run by the Railways to evacuate the migrant laborers already trapped due to the corona lockdown across the country and 15 pairs of special passenger trains are running from Delhi to 15 different places. However, the Railway Ministry has also announced that they are going to start about 200 trains from June 1, the booking of which has been started from May 21.
Many announcements made by railway
Earlier, the railway gave the facility of booking ticket counters in addition to the IRCTC website. Earlier, booking facility was provided only through IRCTC website. Ticket booking of these trains can now be done from computerized PRS centers, post offices, passenger ticket facilitation centers as well as IRCTC recognized agents and general service centers. Indian Railways has said, the period for reservation of advance seats in these trains has been increased from seven days to 30 days.
A ticket reservation counter has been opened at select stations from 22 May. These booking counters and CSC were closed since the lockdown came into force on 25 March. After the announcement by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, booking of train tickets started at about 1.7 lakhs CSC centers across the country from Friday.