On the occasion of the International Workers Day, May 1, the Government of India started ‘Shramik’ special trains to ferry the migrant labourers and other stranded people including students and tourists to their homes. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released a set of guidelines in this respect detailing on the stations, routes, course of operation and measures to be taken care of. The trains are expected to ease the sufferings of the migrant labourers and reduce the burden from the state governments running relief camps to house the workers.
As per the Centre, a total of six ‘Shramik’ special trains have been scheduled to start on the labour day. The six routes covered – Lingampally to Hatia, Aluva to Bhubaneswar, Nasik to Lucknow, Nasik to Bhopal, Jaipur to Patna and Kota to Hatia. The train service began on May 1. The first train was flagged off from Hyderabad to Hatia, Jharkhand.
The special trains are available for migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to the lockdown. These trains will run on the request of the two states from point to point with no stoppages in between. Also, the standard health and safety protocols will be followed.
As per the MHA guidelines, the Railways and the concerned states have to appoint senior officials as the nodal officers for coordination and smooth operation of these special trains. Considering the health and safety protocols, the passengers will be screened at the point of origin of the train and only those found with no symptoms will be allowed to board the train.
The people who will be travelling has to be brought in batches in sanitized buses to the railway station. It is to be ensured that social distancing norms and other precautions are being taken, stated the guidelines.
Moreover, the sending states have to provide the meals and drinking water to the passengers at the originating patients. On longer routes, the Railways will provide a meal during the journey. However, on their arrival, the receiving state government will have to make all the arrangements for the screening of arriving passengers and for quarantining them if found to be necessary and their further travel from the railway station to destinations within states.