New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) The Indian Railways on Friday said it has operated 251 Shramik Special trains since May 1 and ferried home nearly three lakh migrants stranded in various parts of the country due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Railways had operated 61 trains on Thursday.
On Friday, it has planned to operate 53 trains, out of which 43 have already departed, officials said.
'We will run more trains on Friday. The number of migrants ferried is likely to cross the three lakh-mark by tonight,' said a Railway spokesperson.
Every special train has 24 coaches, each with a capacity of 72 seats. But the national transporter is allowing only 54 people in a coach to maintain social distancing norms by not allotting the middle berth to any passenger.
While the railways has officially not stated how much it has spent so far on these services, the cost for which the government says has been shared on an 85:15 ratio with states, officials indicated that the national transporter has spent around Rs 80 lakh per service.
Since the beginning of the services, Gujarat remained one of the top originating stations, followed by Kerala.
Among the receiving states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh remained the top states.
Earlier, the railways drew flak from opposition parties for charging for these services.
In its guidelines, the railways has said the trains will ply only if they have 90 percent occupancy and the 'states should collect the ticket fare'. PTI ASG TDS TDS