New Delhi, Jun 19 (PTI) During the past seven days, the railways ferried 32.56 lakh passengers from states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand, the national transporter said on Saturday, indicating the return of migrant workers to their workplaces after cities gradually unlocked.
In a statement, the railways said that these passengers travelled by long distance mail express trains, with average occupancy being 110.2 per cent, from heavy labour source states to Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad and Chennai areas between June 11-17.
'The railways is helping to bring back workers as cities gradually unlock. To facilitate the movement of migrant labour from the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha to metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai etc, the Indian railways is operating mail/express specials, holiday specials and summer special trains.
'All these trains are being operated as fully reserved trains keeping in view the Covid protocol. The booking for these trains is available to the travelling public through Passenger Reservation System (PRS) at reservation counters and also through online mode by using e-ticketing system,' the railways said.
As on June 18, 983 mail/express and holiday specials (56 per cent of the pre-Covid level) are being operated by the Indian Railways.
In addition, about 1309 summer specials have also been operated to facilitate the movement of people wanting to return to the place of work. These summer specials provide connectivity primarily from states like Bihar, UP, West Bengal, Odisha and Assam to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Bengaluru and others For the next 10 days, from June 19-28, approximately 29.15 lakh passengers including migrant workers and other passengers have been booked by long distance mail express trains from labour source states to cities.
'The zonal railways are actively coordinating with various industry associations and business houses to ascertain the demand and facilitate the movement of the workers accordingly. 'The summer special trains are operating between different origin-destination pairs like Gorakhpur-Mumbai, Bhagalpur-Mumbai, Bhubaneswar-Pune, Danapur-Pune, Barauni-Ahmedabad, Patna-Delhi, Samastipur-Mumbai, Sealdah-Delhi, Raxaul-Delhi, Saharsa-Delhi, Danapur-Secunderabad, Raxaul-Secunderabad, Patliputra-Bengaluru, Chapra-Mumbai, Guwahati-Bengaluru, Gorakhpur-Hyderabad, etc,' the railways said.
On an average, 51 trains are being operated from Bihar , UP, WB, Odisha and are going to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. During pre-Covìd times, 57 trains were run on an average daily between these destinations, officials said.
Last year as the coronavirus pandemic spread, lakhs of migrant workers took to the streets attempting to walk back home across states. Between May 1 and August 30, the railways ferried 63.15 lakh such workers home across 23 states in over 4,000 Shramik Special trains. PTI ASG AAR AAR