Asia’s second-largest rail transporter, the Indian Railways has informed state governments that it shall continue to provide Shramik Special services within 24 hours after receiving the demand from them. The Ministry of Railways has requested state Governments to indicate their requirements about Shramik Special trains and see that projected demand for movement of residual persons by rail mode is well chalked out and determined.
In his letters of May 29 and June 3 on the subject, Chairman Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav assured, “Indian Railways will provide the desired number of Shramik Special trains immediately within 24 hours of the request”. On Tuesday again a letter was sent to chief secretaries of states reiterated the same.
Indian Railways has also said that it will provide additional Shramik Special trains for any requirement given in the future also. It will also meet any additional demand that may arise over and above the projections given, at a short notice.
The Supreme Court of India, in its order dated May 28 had also issued directions for the return of migrant workers to their homes. The Indian Railways was taking all necessary steps in compliance of the apex court’s order.
The Shramik Special trains operationalised by the Railways have carried over 6 million passengers, including migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to the nationwide lockdown since commencing services at the beginning of May. To date, over 4,000 such services have been operated. The Railways commenced operation of these special services after the Ministry of Home Affairs order from May 1, on the occasion of Labour Day. Around 5,000 passengers availed of the service on the first day.