New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Indian Railways has operated over 2,600 Shramik Special trains and transported over 45 lakh people across the country since May 1, and it plans to operate 2,600 more trains in the next 10 days, said Chairman Railway Board V.K. Yadav on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference for the first time amid the nationwide lockdown, Yadav said, "We started to run the Shramik Special trains from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers. Till date we have operated 2,600 Shramik Special trains and over 35 lakh people were transported in the interstate services while over 10 lakh passengers within the state."
He said after the decision of operating the Shramik Special trains, the national transporter on May 1, the first day of the services, operated four trains and transported over 4,000 people. While in the last four days it has been running over 260 trains per day and transporting over four lakh people on a daily basis. Yadav said out of 2,600 Shramik Special trains, over 80 per cent have been used by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Sharing the national transporter's future plans on the operations of the Shramik Special trains, Yadav said, "The railways with the state governments has prepared a plan for the next 10 days. Over 2,600 trains are scheduled in coming ten days and we will transport over 36 lakh more passengers."
The Chairman said that the railways has also requested the state governments to share their plan for the intra-state services. "We will arrange the trains on the request of the state government as our trains are placed in every division. We are ready to run the train within a state," he said.
He added that in the next 10 days the national transporter is confident of transporting 36 lakh more people in the interstate services and about 10 lakh within the state services.
He assured the migrant labourers that the railways has made all arrangements to transport them and the trains will continue to operate till all the migrant workers are ferried to their native places.
Talking about special air-conditioned train services from May 12, Yadav said that in these trains they are getting 97 per cent bookings.
On the railways facing flak for the high cost of the Special AC train tickets and migrant workers not having the IRCTC wesbite access, Yadav said that as they got the complaints that people were not able to book tickets online, they opened over 1,000 windows across the country and more will open in the coming days.