Special trains to ferry migrants amid lockdown from today: Govt

All passengers will be screened and only those found without any symptom will be allowed to travel

Migrants walking
Assamese migrants moving on foot are not as fortunate as those taking the train to reach the state. Photo: PTI

The Centre will be running “Shramik Special” trains from Friday (May 1), which marks the International Workers’ Day, for the transportation of migrant workers, students, tourists, pilgrims and others who have been stranded in various parts of the country due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

In a release, the ministry of railways said these special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the concerned state governments as per the standard protocol for sending and receiving such stranded persons.

“As per the guideline issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, it has been decided to run “Shramik Special” trains from “Labour Day” today, to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lock down,” the release said.

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It said the Indian Railways and state governments shall appoint senior officials as nodal officers for coordination and smooth operation of these special trains. All passengers will be screened by sending states and only those found without any symptoms will be allowed to travel.

“Sending State Governments will have to bring these persons in batches that can be accommodated in the train to the designated Railway Station in sanitized buses following social distancing norms and other precautions,” the release said.

All passengers will have to compulsorily wear face covers, and drinking water and meals would be provided to them by the sending states at the originating station, the release added. On longer routes, it said the Railways will provide a meal en route during the journey.

After the passenger arrive at their destination station, the receiving states would make all arrangements for their screening, quarantine if necessary and further travel from the railway station, the government said.

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