NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways has prepared a schedule to operate 2,600 more Shramik Special trains in the next 10 days to ferry nearly 36 lakh migrants — similar to the number of such trains and passengers the national transporter has moved in the past 23 days.
It is also likely to introduce more special mail/ express trains on routes, particularly east-bound ones in which bookings have touched between 90% and 100%. Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said they have worked out the number of more Shramik Specials, their origin and destination based on requirements from states.
Trains can also be run within states and around 10-12 lakh people can travel in these intra-state operations, he added. According to the Railways, 35 lakh stranded migrants have travelled in interstate Shramik Specials and intra-state trains. The home ministry has estimated that nearly 40 lakh others have travelled in buses.
Highlighting that coordination with states is key in successful running of Shramik Specials, Yadav said the Railways can’t allow deboarding of passengers at any station as there is a need to have specific facilities to comply with health protocols.
He also said uninterrupted freight operations have ensured delivery of 9.7 million tonnes of foodgrain during the lockdown, nearly double that transported during the same period last year.