The railways has run 4,000 Shramik Special trains and ferried more than 56 lakh passengers across the country so far.
In the order issued to the general managers of its zones, the board said punctuality needs to be enforced in the operations of these trains.
"The MR (minister of railways) desires that punctuality of mail/express special trains being operated with effect from May 12 and June 1 should be closely monitored at the divisional and zonal level, a special focus on the punctual operation of Shramik Special should be continued (reason for detention, if any, should be analysed and immediate action should be taken to ensure the punctual running of trains. Matter most urgent, ensure compliance," the order stated.
Migrants flout social distancing norms as they gather outside a registration camp to travel back to their native places, during the ongoing Covid-19 nationwide lockdown, in Jalandhar. Photo: PTI
According to reports, an analysis of 3,740 Shramik Special trains showed that around 40 per cent of those reached the destination with an average delay of about eight hours. As many as 421 trains were delayed by 10 hours or more. Around 10 per cent or some 373 Shramik Special trains were late by 10-24 hours. There were 78 trains that were delayed by a day or more and 71 of them were delayed by over 72 hours.
The Railways has received a request for 321 more trains from various states and is likely to take a decision to end these services soon. While the Railways has maintained that it will run these trains as long as there is demand, a letter from the Chairman, Railway Board to the states on May 29 had requested that they look at their list of registered migrants still wanting to return and provide their requirement for such trains by May 30 so that these services can be planned.
The Railways, which is running over 200 Shramik Special trains on an average, has the capacity to complete the demand of 321 trains in the next two days.