Special trains start chugging in India after more than month long halt
Indian Railways had cancelled running passenger trains from March 22
After remaining off the track for more than a month, Indian Railways on Friday started running “Shramik Special” passenger trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lockdown.
Indian Railways cancelled passenger trains from March 22. However, the freight trains and special trains to carry essential items were allowed amid the lockdown.
As per the guideline issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, it has been decided to run these special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the concerned state governments as per the standard protocols for sending and receiving such stranded persons.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Railways, both the railways and state governments will appoint senior officials as nodal officers for coordination and smooth operation of these “Shramik Specials”.
The passengers have to be screened by the sending states and only those found asymptomatic would 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.
It will be mandatory for every passenger to wear face cover. Meals and drinking water would be provided to the passengers by the sending states at the originating station.
The railways will endeavour to ensure social distancing norms and hygiene with the cooperation of passengers. On longer routes, the Railways will provide a meal enroute during the journey, said the Ministry of Railways in a statement.
On arrival at the destination, passengers will be received by the state government, who would make all arrangements for their screening, quarantine if necessary and further travel from the railway station.