All existing demand for Shramik trains met, last one operated on Jul 9: Railways

The Railways on Thursday said it has met all the existing demand of states for Shramik Special trains to ferry stranded migrant workers home, with the last service being operated on July 9.

Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav said a total of 4,615 Shramik Special trains have been run since May 1, taking over 63 lakh people home during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Railways started Shramik Specials on May 1 to transport stranded migrant workers to their native states after thousands tried to reach home on foot due to the lockdown.

On July 9, the last two trains departed from the Chennai Central station. One to Jodhpur with 1,449 passengers and second one to Howrah with 1,620 passengers, officials said.

The Ministry of Railways has said it subsidised the ticket prices for migrant workers by agreeing to pay 85 per cent, while state governments have been asked to pay the remaining 15 per cent.

"The last Shramik Special train ran on July 9 and with that we presume that we have met the demand of the states regarding these trains. However, if there is more such demand, we will run these services again," Yadav said in an online press conference on Thursday.

He said that while in May, the Railways operated 4,109 trains, in June it came down to 493 trains and in July only 13 trains have been run so far.

Most of these trains originated from Gujarat (1,027), followed by Maharashtra (844) and were mostly destined towards Uttar Pradesh (1,712) and Bihar (1,507), officials said. 
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