THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major relief to thousands of Keralites stranded in other states, the Railways has given its nod to run special trains from eight states to bring back stranded Keralites to the state. The Railways is also planning to operate the Bengaluru-Trivandrum Island Express on a daily basis as a non-AC service.
In his regular briefing on Friday, Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the stranded Malayali students in Delhi will be brought home by train. He said five states have issued NoCs for trains to bring Malayali guest workers back. A total of 28 trains would be operated between May 18 and June 14 to bring back Malayalis in West Bengal. Responding to questions, Pinarayi said the state has been making all efforts to bring back students stranded in Delhi.
Having no trains from Delhi had led to concerns among these students. Online ticket booking through IRCTC would not be practical in this case as the students could not afford the ticket rates. The state is hence exploring options to bring them back by non-AC trains in which they could book tickets for their journey home. The state’s help desk in Delhi would help in coordinating the same.
State’s request for special trains will be considered, Centre tells HC
KOCHI: The Centre on Friday told the High Court that the state government’s request for operating special trains to bring back students and other Malayalis stranded in other states would be given due consideration. With regard to operating flights from Delhi to Kerala, the Centre said it would require a further relaxation of the lockdown norms.
The submission was made by Suvin R Menon, the Centre’s standing counsel, when a petition filed by two pregnant nurses and students stranded in New Delhi and other states seeking operation of flights or special trains to Kerala came up before the court. Advocates Harris Beeran and O A Nuriya, counsel for the petitioners, submitted that several students have been stranded in Delhi and Punjab. In fact, they cannot afford to travel in commercial trains like Rajdhani Express, the fare of which comes to I4,000 to I5,000 per passenger.
Hence, Shramik special trains should be introduced for them. Besides, the operation of domestic flights would address the requirements of petitioners like pregnant women, persons requiring emergency medical care and parents with small children.