The Ministry of Railways addressed the media at 4 pm on Saturday, 23 May, during which it as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs spoke about the Shramik trains for migrants and the efforts taken by the government.
"More than 2,600 special trains have run till date, more than 35 Lakh migrants have availed the benefits of these trains," says Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, MHA, said at the joint press conference.
The Railway Board Chairman noted that "80% of the train journeys have been undertaken by the migrant labourers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar so far."
He also confirmed that the West Bengal Chief Secretary has asked him to stop the trains to WB due to Cyclone Amphan. "As soon as they give us a clearance, we'll run the trains to West Bengal," he added.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE
- 5,000 coaches have been converted into COVID care centres, with 80,000 beds.
- Since they were not being used right now, 50% of these coaches were used for Shramik special trains.
- 17 railway hospitals have been turned into COVID-19 care hospitals.
- On an average, 260 Shramik Special trains operated every day for the last 4 days, carrying 3 lakh passengers daily.
- In the next 10 days, 36 lakh migrants will travel on Shramik Special trains.
- 85 percent of the expenditure for these Shramik Special trains is being borne by the Centre, while states pay 15 percent in the form of fares.
- Only 30 percent of tickets of special trains to be operated from June 1 booked; 190 trains still have availability.
On the question of how long will it take for the migrants to reach home, the Railways Ministry said:
"“All migrants will reach destination as quickly as possible; Shramik Special trains will continue to run till there is need for it.”" -
Two days ago, the Railways Ministry had announced 200 passenger trains from 1 June.
Earlier, the Railways Ministry had said the tickets can be booked through the IRCTC website or its mobile app only.
However, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the booking of train tickets would resume at around 1.7 lakh common service centres (CSC) across the country.
The Indian Railways on Friday re-opened the booking and cancellation of train tickets through reservation counters, Post Offices, Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra licensee and also through authorised IRCTC agents.
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