‘Will continue to provide Shramik trains for migrants as demanded by states’: Railways
The ministry statement added that the chairman of the Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav, had written to various states governments on May 29 and June 3 on the matter.Updated: Jun 09, 2020 18:49 IST
Indian Railways in a statement on Tuesday announced that it will continue to provide ‘Shramik Special Trains’ to various states as demanded to ferry stranded migrant labourers to their native places.
“The railway ministry has requested state governments to indicate their requirements about Shramik Special Trains and see that projected demand for movement of residual persons by rail mode is well chalked out and determined,” the ministry stated.
The statement added that the chairman of the Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav, had written to various states governments on May 29 and June 3 on the matter, emphasising the “Indian Railways will provide the desired number of Shramik Special trains immediately within 24 hours of the request”. Today also, a letter was been sent to chief secretaries of the states emphasizing the same, the statement added.
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This comes after the Supreme Court, earlier in the day, stated that, so far, 171 ‘Shramik’ trains have been demanded by various states from the Centre and directed the railways to meet any additional demand for trains within “a period of 24 hours”.
In its order, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, said “All the States/Union Territories shall take all necessary steps regarding identification of stranded migrant workers in their state which are willing to return to their native places and take steps for their return journey by train/bus which process may be completed within a period of 15 days from today.”
The apex court also directed the central government and states to identify and send migrant workers to their native places within 15 days. The top court called for their counselling and help find avenues of employment for them amid the Covid-19 pandemic.“All States and Union territories shall also give details of all schemes which are currently in the state, benefit of which can be taken by the migrant labourers including different schemes for providing employment,” it said.
The Ministry of Railways has operated around 4,347 Shramik special trains till date, transporting around 60 migrant workers to their native states amid the Covid-19 crisis.