States’ Consent No Longer Needed To Run Shramik Special Trains: Home Ministry Releases Fresh SOP

Swarajya Staff

May 19, 2020, 07:07 PM | Updated 07:07 PM IST

A Shramik Special train.  (SouthWestern Railway/@SWRRLY/Twitter)
A Shramik Special train.  (SouthWestern Railway/@SWRRLY/Twitter)

The consent of states is no more required to run shramik special trains to ferry migrant workers home, according to the fresh standard operating procedures (SOP) released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, News18 reported.

The new SOP, released on Tuesday (19 May) said that “movement of shramik trains shall be permitted by Ministry of Railways in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs”.

As per the previous SOP issued on 2 May which was in force until now, consent of sending as well as receiving states was essential to run shramik trains. “In case a group of stranded persons wish to move between one state/UT and another, the sending and receiving states may consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by rail,” the previous SOP had read.

“The consent of receiving states shall be obtained by originating state and a copy provided to railways before departure of train,” it added.

However, the MHA’s latest notification which carried the SOP omitted any mention of consent from state administration. It instead said nodal officers will make required arrangements regarding train operations, while also stating that train schedules, stoppages and destinations will be decided by the Railway Ministry.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, while releasing the new SOP, said states were required to appoint nodal authorities and make arrangements to send and receive people.

The development was also confirmed by railway officers, as per the report, who said the consent of states was not required now. The states where the shramik trains will originate will provide the list of travelling passengers.

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