Migrant workers start returning to their place of work: Railway Board chairman

Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said bookings for trains originating from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — which received more than 70% of the ‘Shramik’ trains that were run to reach migrants home — have begun for journeys towards Maharashtra, Gujarat an...

New Delhi: Migrant workers who had returned to their homes amid the coronavirus outbreak have started returning to their place of work on special trains which began operating earlier this month, Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said on Friday. “So far as reverse migration is concerned, it is happening via regular trains,” Yadav told reporters.

He said bookings for trains originating from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — which received more than 70% of the ‘Shramik’ trains that were run to reach migrants home — have begun for journeys towards Maharashtra, Gujarat and Ahmedabad.

The railway ministry had started operating the Shramik special trains, on May 1.


“It is very encouraging that people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, are going towards Mumbai and Bangalore,” Yadav said, adding that the government is tracking the demand pattern on the 230 special passenger trains being operated by Indian Railways, and that the frequency on routes where demand is high will be increased in the days to come.

Indian Railways halted its operations of over 12,000 passenger trains from March 22, right before a nationwide lockdown to combat Covid-19 was announced on March 24. The railway ministry announced 30 Rajdhani trains in May, and 200 mail express trains started operations from June 1.

“This is a good sign that the economy is reviving,” Yadav said. “Right now, we will increase special trains. As far as running trains on full strength (is concerned), it will take time and will depend on what is the status of covid-19 spread,” Yadav said.
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In the coming weeks or 10 days the railway ministry will be finalising more trains, depending on these requirements, Yadav said.
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