More Relief For Stranded Migrants: Indian Railways To Operate 200 Non-AC Trains Daily From 1 June

by Arun Kumar Das - May 20, 2020 11:07 AM +05:30 IST
More Relief For Stranded Migrants: Indian Railways To Operate 200 Non-AC Trains Daily From 1 JuneIndian Railways. (Representative Image)(NOAH SEELAM/AFP/GettyImages)
  • Following unprecedented rush of stranded migrants for boarding Shramik Specials and AC Specials, this daily service of 200 more trains is expected to ease the pressure.

In a big relief to thousands of stranded passengers, Indian Railways has decided to run 200 time-tabled non-AC trains daily from 1 June for which online ticket booking would commence shortly.

These trains would be pressed into service in addition to Shramik Special and AC Special services, which are currently operational and catering to the heavy rush of migrants.

The routes and schedule of these trains will be announced soon, according to the railways.

Since unprecedented rush is being witnessed for boarding Shramik Specials and AC Specials, which were launched earlier this month, the daily service of 200 more time-tabled trains is expected to ease the pressure to some extent.

Making it clear that the tickets for these trains would be available only online as no tickets are being sold at railway stations, the railway official said prospective travellers should not come to the station counters to buy tickets.

Appealing to the migrants not to panic, the railways maintained that efforts are being made to ensure that all of them will be able to travel to their home states soon.

Incidentally, the decision to run 200 more trains daily came after the Home Ministry revised the standard operating procedure (SOP) for Shramik Specials allowing the railways not to seek consent for sending or receiving states for running these trains for migrants.

The consent of states is no more required to run Shramik Special trains to ferry migrant workers home, the new SOP of Home Ministry said.

The latest SOP said that “movement of Shramik trains shall be permitted by Ministry of Railways in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs”.

According to the earlier SOP issued on 2 May, consent for sending and receiving states was essential to run Shramik trains.

Efforts will be made such that they will be able to board trains from railway station and head on to the main line which is close to their existing location.

The railways has asked the state governments to identify and locate these migrants, who are walking on roads to go to their home states and transport them to the nearest main line railway station. This after the migrants register at the nearest district headquarters and the states give a list of these travellers to the railways so that arrangements can be made for their further travel through Shramik Specials.

The railways has transported more than 21.5 lakh migrants to their home states in 19 days and operated more than 1,600 Shramik Specials as of now.

These trains were operated from various states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Also, these Shramik Special trains were terminated in various states like UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Punjab.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at

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