Indian Railways Will Start Hundreds Of New Trains For These Passengers (Cities, Routes & More)
The Indian Railways plans to launch special trains to ferry migrant workers home.
It is in talks with state governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.
When Will They Start?
The trains will run from states imposing restrictions on mobility and lockdown to the home states of migrant workers.
It seeks to prevent a repeat of the situation in 2020 when lakhs were stranded in cities away from home and had to walk all the way back to their villages.
A senior government official said that operations will begin just two days after lockdown-like restrictions are imposed by any state government.
Cities In Initial Phase
The Railway Board has informed zonal heads across the country to reserve special trains to operate if any state goes into a lockdown.
The national transporter will initially start operating special trains from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Secunderabad.
These cities in particular are chosen since they are reporting a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks.
The special trains will maintain COVID-19 protocols and passengers’ temperatures will be checked through thermal scanners.
The fares will be subsidised since state governments will partly pay for it.
For the time being, the Railways is keeping a close eye on the lockdown situation and whether it needs to take action on its plans.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw chaired a meeting with top railway officials to discuss the railways’ preparedness to handle a surge in number of passengers or migrants at railway stations.
Fake News And Rumours
Some reports are being circulated of exodus of migrant workers to their home states which were false.
They were based on old images and states have been advised to be wary of rumour mongering and to counter them when they pop up.
Special Trains For Gangasagar Mela
In other news, the Eastern Railways will operate special trains for Gangasagar Mela 2022.
12 Galloping EMU Mela Special trains will ply between 12 January and 17 January from Sealdah South, Kolkata, Lakshmikantapur, Namkhana, Kakdwip.