Haryana's first special train leaves for Bihar with 1,200 migrant workers

Hisar, May 6 (PTI) The first Shramik Special train from Haryana carrying 1,200 migrant workers who were stranded in the state due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown left for Katihar in Bihar from Hisar railway station on Wednesday, officials said.

All the labourers were brought to the station in Haryana Roadways buses and screened by health teams before they boarded the train, they said.

Social distancing was ensured inside the train, which started from the station at 2 pm, the officials said, adding that the state government will bear the fare of all the passengers.

According to a Railways spokesperson, only two passengers were allowed on each seat and all of them wore a mask or had covered their mouths with a cloth.

The Government Railway Police and the district police were deployed inside and outside the railway station for security, the officials said.

A government spokesperson said due to the lockdown, which began on March 25, many migrant workers have been stranded in Haryana and they want to return to their native states.

The Haryana government has made arrangements to send stranded migrants to their home states as per the central government guidelines, the spokesperson said.

Following a request by the state government, the Railways will run six trains to Bihar from different districts of Haryana, the spokesperson said.

Besides the train which left from Hisar on Wednesday, special trains will leave from Ambala to Katihar, Hisar to Muzaffarpur, and Bhiwani to Gaya on May 7. On May 8, trains will leave from Rohtak to Katihar and Ambala to Bhagalpur.

Earlier, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said migrant labourers who are stranded in Haryana would be sent back to their homes in a safe and systematic manner.

The Haryana government has also launched a web portal where migrant workers in the state who want to return to their native places can register themselves. PTI CORR SUN DIV DIV