Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
The Shramik Special trains have transported 35 lakh migrants between states since they started operations on May 1, the government revealed on Saturday. Till now, 2,600 trains have been run.
Chairperson of the Indian Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav, said that 10 lakh more migrant workers have been transported via special trains within state borders.
Here are more details.
Home Ministry Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava said that the government has operated 2,600 Shramik Special trains till date and over 35 lakh migrants have availed the benefits of these trains.
Yadav then clarified that the 35 lakh migrants are those who traveled across state borders. 10 lakh more migrants hailed special trains for intra-state transportation to return home.
Yadav said that on May 1, the first day when Shramik Specials were operated, only four trains transported around 4,000 passengers.
In the past four days, an average of 260 trains have transported around 3.5 lakh passengers daily.
The maximum number of trains operated in a single day was on May 20, when 279 trains ferried over 4 lakh passengers.
2600 trains have completed their journey since @indianrailways started running Shramik Specials on 1st May 2020, taking over 35 lakh passengers to their destination;— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 23, 2020
Here is day-wise breakup of #ShramikSpecial trains and the number of passengers they have carried pic.twitter.com/NtfNBnQc8d
Over the next 10 days, the government will operate 2,600 more trains, ferrying around 36 lakh passengers, Yadav said, adding that states and union territories can also request for inter-state transportation via rail.
"This service will continue until all migrants are sent home," Yadav said.
He added that emergency rakes are stationed at all divisional headquarters to ensure speedy availability of trains.
On May 13, India restarted the operations of 30 passenger trains. In the next phase, 200 trains will start running from June 1.
Bookings for these trains opened on May 21. 17 lakh passengers have already booked tickets, Yadav said, reserving 30% of the trains' berth capacity.
He further said that out of the 200, only 8-10 trains are booked to full capacity.
17 Railways hospitals have been converted into dedicated COVID hospitals, with a combined capacity of 5,000 beds. 33 isolated hospital blocks have also been earmarked for COVID care.
Across different railway units, 10,500 quarantine beds have been set up.
The Railways has also produced 1.2 lakh personal protective equipment (PPE), 1.4 lakh liters of sanitizer, and 20 lakh reusable face masks at its workshops.
Trains to West Bengal have been suspended till May 26 due to the infrastructural damage caused by Cyclone Amphan. Yadav said the state Chief Secretary had written to him saying that restoration work is currently underway.
23.2 lakh wagons carrying essential commodities have been moved via trains during the lockdown.
Between April 1-May 22, 9.7 million ton foodgrains were moved—twice as much compared to the same period last year.
Till Friday, the Railways had offered 4.7 million free meals produced by the IRCTC.
Yadav said the Vasai-Gorakhpur Shramik Special was diverted to Odisha as per routine protocol to reduce congestion.
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