Our Bureau

New Delhi

The Home Ministry on Monday asked all the states and UTs to cooperate with the Railways in running more “Shramik” special trains, without hindrance, to facilitate faster movement of the stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists and others.

It asked the state governments to prevent the migrants from resorting to walking on roads and tracks to reach native places. They should be counselled and taken to nearby shelters until they are able to board the special trains or buses allowed for their travel. A Home Ministry spokesperson said efforts will be to run 100 special trains for the stranded to clear their return home as early as possible. She hoped all stranded will be cleared in the next 3-4 days.

In another circular, all states/ UT govts were asked to ensure smooth movement of all medics, nurses, para medical, sanitation personnel and ambulances as it would help in rendering all Covid and non-Covid medical services to patients without any constraint.

It was stated the inter-State movement of all above mentioned professionals may be facilitated by the States/UTs. It also stressed that all private clinics, nursing homes and labs, with all their medical professional and staff, be allowed to open as it would relieve the burden on hospitals catering to Covid and non-Covid emergencies.

As on Monday, total 468 ‘shramik’ specials were operationalised across the country facilitating travel of over 5.62 lakh stranded. The Railways said 363 trains had reached the destinations and 105 were in transit.

In a change of guidelines, the Railways changed its order of maximum 1,200 passengers in a train, saying as many passenger will be accommodated as are the sleeper berths on the train, which means over 1,500 will be accommodated depending on the coaches attached to the trains. It modified the rules to allow the special train have up to 3 halts in the destination state instead of the non-stop plying from origina­t­ing to destination stations.

Congress, Soniaji paid for your tickets: Punjab MLA tells migrants in train

As a special train with migrants was rolling out of a station on Sunday in Congress-ruled Punjab, each passenger was handed a pamphlet, NDTV has reported. “Your ticket was paid for by Sonia Gandhi,” said the flyers distributed at Bhatinda station by a Congress MLA. The MLA, Amarinder Raja Warring, showed up with a contingent of Congress workers to “see off” the migrants heading to Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and ensure they knew who their “benefactor” was.

More Shramik trains on the anvil

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