25 Trains Travelled out of Maharashtra Ferrying Migrants So Far: Govt

Mumbai: A total of 25 trains have ferried migrant labourers to various states outside Maharashtra since the Railway started operating the Shramik Specials, the state government said on Wednesday.

This information was given by Additional Chief Secretary Nitin Kareer to the state Cabinet which took a stock of transportation of migrants who have been stranded in Mumbai, Pune and other cities since the coronavirus-induced lockdown came into force on March 25.

"Kareer informed the Cabinet that so far 25 special trains have left the state carrying migrant workers, except to West Bengal and Karnataka," statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.

Of the total migrants ferried in 100 trains across the country, 20 per cent migrant labourers from Maharashtra have been benefited from the train travel, it stated.

Two trains carrying migrants within Maharashtra have arrived in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, it said.

As per the Railways, it has run 122 Shramik Special trains since May 1 and ferried home over 1.25 lakh migrants stranded in various parts of the country due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

Meanwhile, the state government has decided to evacuate by a train the UPSC aspirants from Maharashtra who have been stuck in Delhi.

They will be ferried to Bhusawal in Jalgaon district of north Maharashtra and talks are on with the Railway ministry in this regard, it stated.

Only the Madhya Pradesh government has footed the entire travel bill for migrants from that state who were stuck in Maharashtra, it said.

A major political row was erupted over sharing of the train ticket fare for migrants.

The government said that social distancing norms were maintained during the train journey.

"Only 50 passengers were allowed in each compartment of a train as part of a social distancing norms. They were given masks, food and water," it said.

The government also said that 2.48 lakh passes have been issued to stranded persons for inter-state and intra-state travelling in Maharashtra in their own vehicles.