New Delhi: Union Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that the Indian Railways has transported over 20 lakh stranded migrant workers through the 1,565 Shramik Special trains since May 1.
In a tweet, Goyal said, "Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, railways have sent more than 20 lakh migrant workers back to their native places in 1,565 Shramik Special trains. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh alone have given permission to operate 837, 428 and 100 Shramik Special trains respectively."
On Monday, Goyal also spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. During the telephonic conversation with the Railway Minister, Adityanath approved to double the numbers of the Shramik Special trains to transport the stranded migrant workers in several parts of the country. Even Nitish Kumar gave the nod to operate 50 Shramik Special trains per day to transport the stranded migrant workers.
Railway Ministry spokesperson said that more than two lakh people were being transported per day for the last few days, which is expected to be scaled up to three lakh passengers per day in the coming days. The official said that these 1,565 Shramik Special trains have originated from various states like Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
The railways started to run the Shramik Special trains from May 1 to transport stranded migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims and students.
The Railways had suspended all passenger, mail and express trains to combat the spread of Covid-19 from March 25. Only freight and special parcel trains were being run to transport essential items. Since May 12, the Railways also started to run 15 pairs of Special Rajdhani Express trains and has earned over Rs 76 crore till Monday from the 2.05 lakh tickets sold for 3.8 lakh passengers.