New Delhi: Nearly 1,200 migrant workers who were stranded in the national capital amid coronavirus lockdown are ready to set off on Delhi’s first ‘Shramik’ special train to Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. Also Read - Delhi News: Massive Fire Erupts in Tughlakabad Slums, 200 Shanties Burnt
“About 1,200 migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh staying in shelter homes in Delhi will leave for their native state,” an official said. Also Read - Selfless Service: Delhi Gurudwara Is Feeding Over 15,000 People Daily With 'Langar On Wheels' Initiative
Meanwhile, the Delhi government is also in talks with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to run special trains for migrants from the two states who wish to return home. Also Read - Travelling to Delhi From Noida, Ghaziabad or Gurugram? Check Out New Set of Rules Here
As of Wednesday night, a total of 140 special trains, ferrying more than 1.35 migrants and students, were run to various states by the Indian Railways for the safe return of those stranded in th lockdown.
Every Shramik special train has 24 coaches, each with a capacity of 72 seats. But the national transporter is allowing only 54 people in a coach to maintain social distancing norms by not allotting the middle berth to any passenger.
The central government had earlier faced criticism for allegedly charging migrants for tickets. However, the Railways issued a clarification that the cost will be borne by the government and stated on an 85:15 ratio.
The Railways ministry has officially not stated how much it has spent so far on these services, however, it mentioned that the national transporter has spent around Rs 80 lakh per service.