New Delhi: Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, involved in a fiery war of words with Maharashtra over the ‘Shramik Special’ trains, lashed out once again at the state government on Tuesday, saying that he had offered them 125 trains but in turn received details only for 41 trains. Also Read - Railways Ready to Run 'Shramik Special' Trains From Any District in Country, Says Piyush Goyal
Speaking to news agency ANI, he said, “Maharashtra government day before yesterday made absolutely false allegation that they were asking for 80 trains but getting only 30-40. I offered them 125 trains, asking for details. They were not able to give any details for yesterday’s trains. They gave us 41 trains’ details.” Also Read - 'Blatant, Ridiculous Lies': Twitter Slams Piyush Goyal's Statement 'Not a Single Person Starved During Coronavirus Crisis'
“Even those trains remained empty and didn’t have passengers. Late last evening they sent us 145 trains’ lists which were completely unorganised. There were some letters written to Bihar, to UP 15 days back, the date of which they cut and wrote today’s date and sent to us.” Also Read - ‘Central Govt to Allow Export of Onions From March 15,’ Says Piyush Goyal
He further accused the Maharashtra government of not taking care of migrants, remarking that this shows that the state government has collapsed. He added that worried about their situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told him to ‘do anything but ensure that migrants are sent to their homes, send 145 trains.’
Further stating that his department worked ‘all night’ to send 145 trains to Maharashtra, he said, “Every train has been notified to the state government. I’m extremely sad to share that till 5 PM, 74 of these 145 trains were supposed to depart, but since morning till 12.30 PM, no passengers had boarded.”
“Out of 74 trains which were to go until now, till 5 PM, Maharashtra government could give us passengers only for 24 trains which have departed. 50 are just standing in Maharashtra,” the Railways Minister went on to say.
On Maharashtra’s issue with West Bengal, he informed that of these 145 trains, 41 were to go to West Bengal, which, he said, has told Maharashtra that out of these 41, it can accept only two due to Cyclone Amphan.
“Maharashtra government is not willing to tell us which trains they want postponed, cancelled or re-scheduled,” Goyal concluded.
Notably, the Shramik Special trains were announced on May 1 to take stranded labourers back to their native states. The Railways today said that till May 25, over 44 lakh passengers had been taken to their destinations by 3,274 Shramik Special trains.