As a step towards a gradual restart of services, the Indian Railways has decided to double the number of Shramik special trains to 400 a day by this week and also start 200 new time tabled non-air conditioned trains starting from June 1.
"Indian Railways plans to double the number of Shramik Trains to bring more relief to migrants. In addition to these Shramik Special trains, Indian Railways is going to start 200 new time tabled trains from June 1, 2020. The routes and schedule of these trains will be intimated soon," the national transporter said in a statement on Tuesday.
Like special air conditioned trains that started service on May 12, tickets for the time-tabled trains will not be sold at any railway station or ticket counters. A total of 30 AC special trains started operations from May 12. The railways said that bookings will be completely online and shall commence in a few days time.
More than 2.15 million migrants have been transported to their home states through “Shramik Special” trains in 19 days and more than 1600 “Shramik Special” trains have been operated till May 19. Railways has asked state governments to identify and locate these migrants who are walking on roads to go to their home states and transport them to the nearest main line railway station after registering their names at the nearest district headquarters and give a list of these travellers to the railway authorities, so that arrangements can be made for their further travel through Shramik specials.
"Indian Railways appeals to the migrants not to panic. Efforts are being made to ensure that all of them are able to travel to their home states at the earliest," the railways statement added. The national transporter is also taking steps to arrange facilities for migrant labourers to board trains from the railway station head on the main line, which will be close to their existing location.
Till 4 pm on Tuesday, a total of 1595 “Shramik Special” trains have been operationalized from various states across the country. These 1595 trains originated from various states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh UT, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry UT, Punjab, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal.
Also, these Shramik Special Trains were terminated in various States like UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, , Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir. Proper screening of passengers is ensured before they board the train. During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water. Shramic special trains started operations after an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded people starting from May 1.