The Indian Railways has operated over 2,600 Shramik Specials and transported over 36 lakh people across the country operating interstate and within the state since May 1 and plans to operate 2,600 more trains in the next 10 days, said Chairman Railway Board V.K. Yadav.
Addressing a press conference here for the first time amid the nationwide lockdown, Yadav said, "We started to run the Shramik Special trains from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers. To date we have operated 2,600 Shramik Specials and over 26 lakh people have been transported in the interstate services and over 10 lakh passengers within the state."
He said after the decision of operating the Shramik Special trains, the national transporter on May 1, the first day of the services, operated four trains and transported over 4,000 people. "In the last four days we have been running over 260 trains per day and transporting over four lakh people on a daily basis," said Yadav.
He said out of the 2,600 Shramik Specials, over 80 per cent of them have been used by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Sharing the national transporter's furture plan on the operations of Shramik Specials, Yadav said, "The railways with the state governments has preapred a plan for the next 10 days. Over 2,600 trains are scheduled in the coming days and we will transport over 36 lakh passengers."
The Chairman said the railways has also requested the state governments to share their plans with it. "We will arrange the trains on the request of a state government as our trains are placed in every division. We are ready to run the train within a state," he said.
He assured the migrant labourers that the railways has made all arrangements to transport them.
On the railways facing the flak for the high cost of Special AC train tickets and migrant workers unable to access the IRCTC wesbite, Yadav said: "We have received the complaints that people were unable to book tickets online. We have now opened over 1,000 windows across the country and more will open in the coming days".
( With inputs from IANS )