Published On: Sat, May 30th, 2020

Plan properly before demanding Shramik trains, Railways tells states

New Delhi: Learning its lessons well after passengers did not turn up at railway stations in certain states and resultant cancellation of Shramik Special trains, the Railways on Saturday asked states to ensure proper planning before requisitioning trains.

So far, more than 4,000 Shramik trains have been operated to transport approximately 54 lakh stranded persons

A Railway Ministry spokesperson said: “The Ministry has requested the state governments to ensure proper planning and coordination about Shramik trains and see o it that the projected demand for movement of stranded persons by trains is well chalked out and determined.”

He said that the Shramik trains are running on some of most dense rail traffic corridors which ferry essential freight like coal for power plants, food grain, fertilisers, cement etc.

“While the Railways has been able to place rakes on demand by states for Shramik Specials, there have been several instances where passengers have not been brought to the station and the notified trains have been cancelled,” he said, adding that some of the states have also not been giving consent to the sending states, preventing transportation of a large number of migrant labour to those states.

The statement came days after several Shramik trains, supposed to leave Maharashtra for different states, were cancelled as passengers were not brought by the state government at the railway stations.

The spokesperson said that railways has been operating Shramik trains for movement of stranded persons in coordination with the state governments on Home Ministry orders.

“So far, more than 4,000 Shramik trains have been operated to transport approximately 54 lakh stranded persons to their destination states,” he said.

He said that almost all requests from sending states till date had been accomodated. “Many states have now reduced their requirements, indicating that the task is nearing completion,” he said, adding that nearly 75 per cent of the trains were bound for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The remaining trains were headed to eastern India.

Citing the Supreme Court’s Thursday order he said that the top court has also issued interim directions for mitigating the difficulties faced by the migrant workers and has desired that an estimated time period and the plan for transportation of all stranded workers be intimated.

He said the Railway Ministry has emphasised that states must indicate the projected number of Shramik trains required for residual movement of stranded persons from the state along with tentative schedule for movement of these trains through official communication.

“The Indian Railways will schedule trains immediately based on the requirement projected by the state governments or union territories in consultation with the nodal officers,” he added.

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