Owing to the pressure, the central government decided to run the “Shramik” special trains to transport migrants from various states back to their home states.
Mumbai| Migrant workers were stuck in cities left without food and jobs after the imposition of nation-wide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. After the immigrants started walking back to their states due to the unavailability of transport facilities, the opposition became aggressive. Owing to the pressure, the central government decided to run the Shramik special trains to transport migrants from various states back to their home states.
Though the Shramik trains have successfully dropped lakhs of migrant workers back to their home states by now, the train that left for Gorakhpur from Mumbai’s Vasai road and ended up in Odisha’s Rourkela raised several questions on the operations of these trains. Railways, however, had clarified that the train did not lose the way and was diverted because of the congestion.
Now the recent reports suggest that around 40 shramik trains have lost their way and reached somewhere else rather than their destination.
According to Navbharat Times, sources from the railways said that many trains were diverted on 23 may, though the source did not tell the exact number of trains that were diverted. Some other sources said that over 40 trains have changed their route till yesterday. Railways has maintained that the routes of these trains have been changed deliberately, internet users have been looking for logic to change the destination from Gorakhpur to Rourkela.
On such shramik train was travelling with 1450 migrants to Basti in Uttar Pradesh. When people thought they must have reached their destination, they found out that the train was at Ghaziabad station. They got to know that because of the congestion on the route, the route of train was changed.
Similarly, one train left for Patna for Maharashtra’s Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Mumbai on 21st May. The train instead reached Puruliya. The Railways must have a similar reason of congestion on route for the change in destination, but these changes have been making the already suffering migrants more agitated.
Railway has itself accepted that there have been change of routes. Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that around 80% of trains have been reaching Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, because of which there has been a surge in crowding of people. This is the reason why the railways had to change routes of some trains.
Because of the extra time being taken due to the diversion, the passengers have not been receiving any food or water. The change of routes has only increased the problems for the migrant workers. Passengers who reached Ghaziabad from Bangalore told that they have not eaten anything since 20 hours.