Special trains bring back over 3,200 stranded J&K residents to Udhampur

Two Shramik Special trains --- from Delhi and Bengaluru -- have reached Udhampur, and another one from Goa will arrive on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday morning, a special passenger train, on the lines of Rajdhani Express, will reach Jammu.(Samir Jana/ HT photo. Representative image)
On Thursday morning, a special passenger train, on the lines of Rajdhani Express, will reach Jammu.(Samir Jana/ HT photo. Representative image)
Updated on May 13, 2020 06:32 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Jammu | ByRavi Krishnan Khajuria

The daily New Delhi-Jammu train service will resume from Wednesday evening after three Shramik Special trains started ferrying over 3,200 stranded Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) residents from Bengaluru, Goa, and Delhi to Udhampur, beginning a day before.

Two Shramik Special trains --- from Delhi and Bengaluru -- have reached Udhampur, and another one from Goa will arrive on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday morning, a special passenger train, on the lines of Rajdhani Express, will reach Jammu.

Chetan Taneja, station director and a senior divisional traffic manager of Northern Railways, said, “A special train will leave New Delhi on Wednesday at around 9pm and it will reach Jammu-Tawi on Thursday at around 5.45am.”

“All the arrangements have been put in place and sufficient mock drills have also been conducted over the past three days,” said Taneja.

On Thursday, the same train will leave Jammu around 8pm and will arrive in Delhi at 5am on Friday.

“It’s a fully air-conditioned train, and the fare is similar to that of Rajdhani Express. However, food and blankets won’t be provided to the passengers,” he said.

Taneja said that passengers have to undergo mandatory screening and other protocols such as strict enforcement of social distancing norms, issued by the central government, to contain the spread of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic after they get off the train.

On Monday, J&K chief secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam visited the Jammu-Tawi railway station and took stock of the mechanism put in place for the trains that are bringing back stranded passengers to the Union Territory.

“Every single returnee has to undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test. We won’t make an exception to it,” said Rohit Kansal, principal secretary, J&K.

The district administration was asked to ensure that registration and allocation of buses to the passengers for their onward journey to respective home districts are done in an expeditious and hassle-free manner in a bid to avoid any inconvenience for them. Passengers will be lodged at administrative quarantine centres till their test reports are available.

On Wednesday morning, the second Shramik Special train, carrying stranded people from Delhi, arrived in Udhampur.

“The train reached at 5.30am on Wednesday at Udhampur carrying passengers from Delhi. They included 316 passengers from Kulgam, 275 from Ramban, 131 from Srinagar, 122 from Kathua, 91 from Udhampur, 58 from Poonch, 44 from Rajouri, 31 from Budgam, 22 from Baramulla, 21 from Anantnag, 17 from Samba and 13 from Jammu,” said Udhampur district commissioner Dr. Piyush Singla.

“Another train from Goa will reach Udhampur on Wednesday evening,” he added.

The evacuation of the J&K people stranded in Haryana has also started since early morning on Wednesday, Kansal said.

“Evacuation from Haryana has started. Screening and boarding are in progress in Ambala, Hissar, Mewat, and Yamunanagar. We’re looking forward to your return. Others need to be patient. Everyone, who has registered, will be contacted by the administration,” the principal secretary tweeted.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has eased the movement of people stranded in other states because of the lockdown restrictions, which were imposed to check the spread of Covid-19 outbreak.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021