New Delhi, May 30 : With more than 4,000 Shramik Special services having been operated by Indian Railways to transport approximately 54 lakh stranded migrants to their destination states, the Railway Ministry has requested state governments to ensure proper planning and coordination about these special trains and see that projected demand for movement of stranded persons by rail mode is well chalked out.
This follows the Supreme Court order dated May 28, wherein it issued interim directions for mitigating the difficulties faced by the migrant workers and desired that an estimated time period and plan for transportation of all stranded workers be intimated.
According to a letter from the Railways Ministry to the states, while the nominated Nodal Officers of the Railways have been interacting on this matter with the states and getting a rough estimate on train requirements, it was necessary to get an objective estimate of the requirements of Shramik Special trains. The Ministry has emphasised that states must indicate the projected number of Shramik Specials required for the residual movement of stranded persons from the state along with the tentative schedule for movement of these trains through an official communication.
"The Railways will schedule trains immediately based on the requirement projected by state governments/UTs in consultation with the nodal officers of States/UTs," it said in an official release. Indian Railways has also assured that it will provide additional Shramik Special trains for any requirement given in future also observing the guidelines and the protocols given by MHA and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW). Under the orders issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) dated May 1, 2020 and May 19, 2020, Indian Railways (IR) have operated more than 4,000 Shramik Special services to transport about 54 lakh stranded migrants to their destination states, observing the guidelines and the protocols given by MHA and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW).
The Railways said it has been able to accommodate almost all the requests received from the sending states till date. Many states have now reduced their requirements indicating that the task is nearing completion. Nearly 75 per cent of the trains were bound for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and most of the balance trains were also headed towards Eastern India.
Railways have also come forward to help several state governments to meet the requirement of intra-state movement of people by organising such trains at their request. It further said that while Railways have been able to place rakes on demand by states for Shramik Specials, there have been several instances where the passengers have not been brought to the station and the notified trains cancelled. Some of the states have also not been giving consent to the sending states, preventing transportation of a large number of migrant labour for those states. The Shramik Specials are running on some of the most densely trafficked corridors which carry essential freight like coal for power plants, food grain, fertiliser, and cement. (UNI)