Consent of the destination states is not needed to send ‘Shramik Special’ trains to carry migrant workers stranded in the home-away state due to nationwide lockdown.
Railway spokesperson Rajesh Bajpai said, “Consent of terminating state is not necessary to run Shramik special trains.”
There has been a tussle between the states and the centre over the running of these special trains to ferry migrant workers back home.
The issue had been taken to the social media by Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, who were vocal against the Centre over migrant movement amid the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to reports, Home Minister Amit Shah had spoken to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to allow more trains to enter her state.
The Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) allowed states to give permission to run the special trains. Now the Union government has modified it and under the revised SOP, state’s permission is no longer required to send trains carrying migrants.
As per the reports, the Centre has also asked states to allow trains carrying migrants to stop at more stations to prevent them from jumping off the trains when it passes by their home districts.
Till now, the Centre has been running trains from one point in a state to another point in another state. It has asked the railways to ensure that the migrants know about the schedule of the train 24 hours in advance.
After commencing the operations of 15 special trains for the migrant workers, the Indian Railways plans to run Shramik Special trains from all the districts connected by Railways in the country.
Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry last week had asked the district collectors of the country to prepare a list of stranded labourers and destination, and apply it to Railways through State nodal officer.