New Delhi: After clashes with many states over the Shramik Special Trains, the Indian Railways on Tuesday revised the standard operating procedure (SOP) and said the consent of the destination states is not required to operate these trains. Also Read - Coronavirus in Noida: 27 Fresh Cases Reported in a Day, Total Active Cases Now 209; 4-Year-Old Recovers
The development comes hours after the Home Ministry issued a standard operating procedure for the national transporter to run these trains to ferry migrants to their native places. Also Read - COVID-19: Six-fold Jump in Cases, Five-fold Surge in Fatalities After a Month: Is Worst Yet to Come For India?
“Consent of terminating state not necessary to run Shramik Special trains,” railway spokesperson Rajesh Bajpai told news agency PTI. He said that after the new SoP, the implication is that no consent of receiving state is mandatory. Also Read - No Shortage of Beds in Delhi, Clarifies Health Minister; 1,330 Fresh COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hrs, Total Tally Over 26,000
Prior to this, a political storm had broken out when Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh were being laggard in approving these trains to their respective states.
To address the migrants crisis, the Indian Railways has run 1,565 migrant trains and ferried over 20 lakh migrants since May 1.
Earlier in the day, the Home Ministry had issued the SOP for transportation of stranded migrant workers between states, which will designate nodal authorities and make necessary arrangements for receiving and sending them, amid the novel coronavirus-induced lockdown.
While issuing the SOP, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said for running ‘Shramik’ special trains, permission will be given by the Ministry of Railways (MOR) in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
States and union territories should designate nodal authorities and make necessary arrangements for receiving and sending such stranded people, the home ministry SOP said.
In the SOP, the home secretary asked states and UTs to give directions to the district authorities to request the MOR for running trains and ensure that no migrant worker walks on roads or railway tracks to reach the destination.