350 Shramik Special trains run so far, around 3.6 lakh migrants ferried: Railways
New Delhi, May 10: The Indian Railways has operated 350 Shramik Special trains since May 1 and ferried home more than 3.6 lakh migrants stranded in various parts of the country amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, officials said.
While 263 trains have already reached their destinations, 87 are still on the run. Forty-six more trains are in the pipeline, it said. Every Shramik Special train has 24 coaches, each with a capacity of 72 seats. However, only 54 people are allowed in a coach to maintain social distancing norms and the middle berth is not allotted to any passenger.
While the railways has not yet announced the cost incurred on the special services, officials indicate the national transporter has spent around Rs 80 lakh per service. The government had earlier stated that the cost of the services has been shared on a 85:15 ratio with states. Since the Shramik Special train service started, Gujarat has remained one of the top originating stations followed by Kerala.
Among the receiving states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh remain the top states. Earlier, the railways drew flak from opposition parties for charging for these services. In its guidelines, the railways have said the trains will ply only if they have 90 per cent occupancy and the "states should collect the ticket fare".