Shramik Special Trains Announced; Relief for the Stranded

As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Indian Railways has announced that it will run “Shramik Special” trains from “Labour Day” on Friday to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons who stuck in different places due to the nationwide lockdown.

The Railways had already run the first such train with 1,200 passengers from Hyderabad to Jharkhand at 4:50 am on Friday.

The Railways announced six “Shramik Special” trains — Lingampally to Hatia, Nasik to Lucknow, Aluva to Bhubaneswar, Nasik to Bhopal, Jaipur to Patna and Kota to Hatia, to help out those people who got stuck due to lockdown, especially the migrant labourers and the students.

These special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the state governments concerned as per the standard protocols for sending and receiving such stranded persons.

Six "Shramik Special" Trains announced inviting much needed relief (Credits: PTI)
Six “Shramik Special” Trains announced inviting much needed relief (Credits: PTI)

The Railways and state governments shall appoint senior officials as nodal officers for smooth and easy operation of these ‘Shramik Specials’, Indian Railways said.

According to the guidelines issued by the Railways, the passengers of these trains will have to be screened at the boarding point by the states sending them and those who will be found asymptomatic of COVID-19 will be allowed to travel.

Sending state governments will have to take care of sanitised buses in which stranded people will travel, they will also have to take care of proper social distancing norms and meals and drinking water. It will be mandatory for passengers to follow the norms and wear a face cover.

The national transporter said that Railways will also follow the social distancing and hygiene norms with the cooperation of the passengers and it will also provide meals on the longer journey.

On arrival at the destination, the receiving state government will ensure proper screening, quarantine (if required), and further travel to their respective places. With a large number of people stranded during the nationwide lockdown, such steps of providing transportation for returning to home were a much needed step, according to several experts.