Special Trains For People Stranded Across India: MHA

Representational Image - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday said that special trains will be operated amid the lockdown to carry stranded people including migrant labourers, students, prilgrims and tourists and "other persons" to return to their native places. Subsequently, the railway ministry has issued guidelines for train travel.

The move comes after allowing inter-state travel for migrant labourers, students stranded due to lockdown to return to their home states.

Lakhs of migrant workers and others had been stranded in states away from their native places after the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The lockdown which was to end on May 3 has extended till May 17 now.

The first train arranged by the South Central Railways left Lingampally in Telangana at 4:30 am on Friday for Hatia in Jharkhand carrying 1200 migrants who were engaged in construction works at IIT-Hyderabad in Sangareddy. The 24-coach train, which usually seats 72 people in a compartment, contained only 54 people in each to follow physical distancing guidelines. All passengers were also screened for symptoms before being allowed to board.

The other trains announced so far will run from Aluva (Kerala) to Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Nashik (Maharashtra) to Lucknow (UP), Nashik to Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur (Rajasthan) to Patna (Bihar) and Kota (Rajasthan) to Hatia (Jharkhand).

The decision to allow stranded people to travel to their native sates came after pressure from within the BJP. There were concerns the migrant crisis could damage the party politically and feedback to this effect was given to party president JP Nadda during a virtual meeting with MPs and MLAs, sources said.

Also Read:Hyderabad: Migrant Workers Sent Home In Special Train To Jharkhand

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