CHENNAI: A special train carrying 1,136 passengers has left Katpadi in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district to Ranchi in Jharkhand, officials said on Thursday.
It was the first train that left Tamil Nadu after the lockdown was imposed over 40 days back.
The passengers -- patients who had come for treatment at the Christian Medical College in Vellore and their attendants -- were brought to Katpadi railway junction in 16 buses by the Vellore district administration. The train chugged off on Wednesday night.
According to officials, the train operation was kept under wraps in order to avoid crowding at the stations by other people like the migrant workers.
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The governments of Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand decided to run the train to help stuck people reach their homes.
The state government paid for each ticket priced at Rs 695. The passengers were also given food packets, water bottles by the Vellore district administration, a railway official not wanting to be quoted told IANS.
According to the official, food for the passengers en route will be provided by IRCTC.
Though each coach had a capacity to carry 108 passengers, only 54 passengers were allowed in each coach in order maintain safe social distance.
The train was brought from Chennai after sanitization. The train was again cleaned and sanitised at Katpadi.