2.5 lakh migrants take ‘Shramik Special’ trains

15 trains

India to 'gradually' restart rail operations in lockdown easing

Some 30 train journeys - 15 pairs of return trips - will run from the capital New Delhi to other cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, Indian Railways said late on Sunday.

They are ofcourse not plying the normal passenger train services but are certainly bringing smile to the faces of lakhs of families by ferrying stranded migrant workers back to their home towns. The booking of tickets through agents (both IRCTC agents and railway agents) will not be permitted. Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to travel as per the SOP issued by the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to all state Chief Secretaries and administrators of Union Territories (UTs).

Drawing the attention of states to a meeting held by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba to review the running of buses and Shramik Special trains for migrants, the MHA letter has said, "In the meeting, the situation of migrant workers walking on the road and on railway tracks was noted with great concern". However, IRCTC will make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis in the trains.

The ministry said that the trains will now have up to three stoppages in the destination state. Ticket booking counters at the railway station will remain closed.

The Railway has informed that the train from New Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram which starts service on Wednesday will have only two stops in Kerala.

The fares of these trains will be that of Rajdhani trains, which means all these will be all air-conditioned trains and will be available on premium fares.

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Tickets can be booked only if they are confirmed.

The Railway Ministry instantly issued a statement and said: "Data pertaining to special trains is being fed in the IRCTC website".

Tickets will be available only through Indian Railway Catering Corporation (IRCTC) website.

Gradually more special services will begin on new routes based on the availability of coaches keeping in mind the 20,000 coaches that have been set aside for Covid-19 care centres and those that are being used to run up to 300 Shramik Special trains every day for stranded migrants.8.

- Only those passengers with confirmed e-tickets shall be allowed to enter the station.

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