The Indian Railways has issued guidelines regarding the operation of "Shramik Special" trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and people who are stranded at different places amid the coronavirus lockdown. These special trains are running 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. The railways and state governments have also appointed senior officials as Nodal Officers for coordination and smooth operation of the “Shramik Specials”. All other passenger train services remain suspended therefore no one should come to the railway station. No tickets are being sold at any station. Railways are not running any train other than being requisitioned by the state Governments.
On Friday (1st May), the Ministry of Railways has deployed a “one-off” special train to ferry stranded migrant labourers from Lingampalli (LPI) in Hyderabad to Hatia (HTE) in Jharkhand. Do read the blog Special train for migrants if you want to know more about the same. The Andhra Pradesh government has also arranged nine special trains to bring back around 6 lakh migrant workers stranded in 13 states. Here is the list of shramik special trains that have been started by the Indian Railways.
The passengers travelling on the train are screened for coronavirus and those found asymptomatic are only allowed to travel. It is mandatory for all the passengers to keep his or her mouth covered by a face cover. Passengers are screened both at the station of departure and on arrival.
Shramik special trains are non-stop trains bound for a single destination. The shramik special trains are running for a distance of more than 500 km. These trains will not stop at any in-between station before the destination station. Each shramik special train can carry approximately 1200 passengers according to the social distancing guidelines.
On longer routes (beyond 12 hours), the Railways would provide a meal enroute during the journey. On arrival at the destination, passengers will be received by the state government, who will make all arrangements for their screening, quarantine if required and further travel from the Railway Station. Till now Indian Railways have run 34 shramik special trains from different parts of the country.
Registration process for Shramik special trains
A few states have launched online registration systems, portals to facilitate the stranded students, workers, pilgrims and tourists in their movement between states. The person willing to travel needs to fill personal details, location details and contact details. Uttarakhand has launched an online “migrant traveller registration” system wherein people who want to travel To/ From Uttarakhand have to register by filling up the online form. Similarly Rajasthan has launched an “e-mitra app” for the stranded people. Karnataka is registering travellers on its “Seva Sindhu portal”, Odisha has launched “Odisha Covid-19 portal for traveller registration” and Punjab has “Covidhelp” portal for registration of people who want to come back to Punjab.
To delve more about the shramik special trains, read onto the official circular released by the Ministry of Railways on shramik special trains. Stay home, stay safe! Stay tuned to the Trainman blog to know the latest updates on railways and COVID-19 virus. The Trainman team appeals to all the people to abide by the guidelines of the Ministry of the Home Affairs and follow the lockdown 3.0 guidelines.