As the war of words between Shiv Sena and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal seem to not get over anytime soon, Sena leader Sanjay Raut while taking a dig at Railway Minister Piyush Goyal over the diversion of the Vasai Road-Gorakhpur Sharmik Special train via Odisha, on Monday said their only request is that train carrying migrants should reach its destination as announced.
Sanjay Raut on Monday tweeted, “Maharashtra government has given you a list of workers who wish to return home. The only request is that the train should reach the station, as announced earlier.”
“The Gorakhpur bound train had reached Odisha,” the Sena Rajya Sabha member further said.
Raut’s remarks came in as taunt to Goyal’s earlier tweets on Sunday.
On Thursday, the The Vasai Road-Gorakhpur Sharmik ‘Shramik Special’ train which started from Palghar near Mumbai to reach Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, detoured to reach Rourkela in Odisha. It reached Gorakhpur two-and-a-half days later, when it should have reached the destination in about 25 hours. The Railways has denied that the detour was due to some confusion rather claimed that the change of destination was well planned out to clear congestion on the route.
On Sunday Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in an address to the state said that while he had demanded 80 migrant special trains per day for the state to ferry migrants home, it was getting only 40.
Railway Minister in reply to this on Sunday night said, “We are ready to provide 125 Shramik Special trains to Maharashtra.”
“Since you have said that you have a list ready that is why I am requesting you to please provide all information like from where the train will run, the list of passengers according to the trains, their medical certificate and where the train is to go, to the General Manager of Central Railway within the next hour, so that we can plan the time of trains, the railway minister tweeted.
Sena’s alliance partner NCP, however, took a different stand, saying Piyush Goyal and his ministry are under pressure and their efforts should be appreciated.
Senior NCP leader Praful Patel said the Indian Railways and Piyush Goyal are also under pressure to run the trains.
“Their efforts should be respected. We appreciate that they are providing trains so that people can reach home,” said Patel said.
Amid the nationwide lockdown, thousands of daily wagers and other migrants have undertaken epic journeys to reach home — walking, cycling and hitching rides when they could — in the absence of any public transport and many of them had lost their lives in tragic accidents. Now that the trains and buses have been started by government for them, hopefully they will soon reach their homes safe and sound.