NEW DELHI: Special Shramik Trains, which are ferrying migrants to their homes, will now run on full capacity and will have three more stops in the destination state apart from the destination itself, the Railways said on Monday.
According to a statement from the national transporter, the capacity of passengers in each train should be equal to the number of sleeper berths on the train. “Now, middle berths too will be allotted to passengers in the special trains. The Railways has a capacity to run 300 trains per day and we want to maximise it. We want to carry as many migrants home as possible and have appealed to states to send approvals,” the statement said.
The Shramik special trains have 24 coaches with a capacity to carry 72 passengers in each coach making the capacity of each train 1728. Currently, with the railways leaving the middle berth unoccupied, each rack could accommodate 54 passengers making the capacity of the train 1296. Railways have so far transported over 5 lakh passengers in more than 450 such trains since May 1.
The announcement was made after Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla chaired a high-level meeting with officials of the home ministry, railways ministry, nodal officers of the states and the Union Territories. As decided on Sunday in the meeting between Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and the states, it was announced that over 100 trains are expected to run daily for next few weeks.
In a separate letter to chief secretaries of state and union territories, “Since their movement by buses and Shramik special trains has already started, states and UTs should ensure that migrant workers do not resort to walking on road and on railway tracks,” Bhalla said.
Bhalla also sought cooperation of the states and UTs in counselling them and running more ‘Shramik’ trains for the labourers stranded due to the lockdown.
In case they are found in such condition, the home secretary said, they should be appropriately counselled, taken to nearby shelters and provided with food, water etc. till such time they are facilitated to board the Shramik special trains or buses to their native places.
Chief Secys told to keep migrants off rail tracks
In a separate letter to chief secretaries of state and union territories, Centre has asked the states to ensure that migrant workers do not resort to walking on road and on railway track.