Social distancing must when trains take stranded workers, students home

The Ministry of Railways will designate nodal officers for coordinating with the states and Union territories for their movement
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday allowed the use of trains for ferrying people stranded due to the nationwide lockdown to their respective states, an official said.

Addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary in the MHA Punya Salila Srivastava said stranded people such as migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims and students can now be transported using trains.

"States and the Railway Board will make the necessary arrangements for the same," she said.

Underlining that some problems are cropping up in the movement of trucks and load carriers, Srivastava said the MHA has again written to the states, reiterating that no separate pass is needed for trucks and load carriers, including the empty vehicles.

Exercising the powers conferred under the Disaster Management Act, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places is allowed by special trains to be operated by the Ministry of Railways (MoR).

The MoR will designate nodal officers for coordinating with the states and Union territories for their movement, he added.


Movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students & other persons, stranded at different places, is also allowed by #SpecialTrains to be operated by @RailMinIndia. MoR to designate nodal officer(s) for coordinating with States/ UTs for their movement#lockdown #Covid_19

— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) May 1, 2020

"The MoR will issue detailed guidelines for sale of tickets, and for social distancing and other safety measures to be observed at train stations, platforms and within the trains," the home secretary said.

First special train with 1,200 migrants runs from Telangana to Jharkhand

The Government of India on Friday morning ran its first special train to transport 1,200 migrant labourers to Hatia in Jharkhand from Lingampally in Telangana.

The decision to run special trains was taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after considering a request of the Telangana government. “As of now, only one train is running. The decision on more such trains will be taken after receiving directions from the MHA, and talks between source and destination states,” said a senior railway official. Read full story here...

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel