1,200 migrants leave Telangana for Jharkhand; 24-coach train, which usually seats 72 people in a compartment, contained only 54 following lockdown guidelines
New Delhi: Just two days after the Centre gave the green signal for the movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, and other persons stranded at different places due to COVID-19 lockdown to their home states, the first train carrying 1,200 migrants left Telangana for Jharkhand on Friday morning.
The train started its journey at 4:50 am from Lingampali in Telangana to Hatia in Jharkhand. Started as a pilot project, more such special train journeys will be planned as per the directives of the Union ministry of railways on request from the origin and destination states.
The government of India has also asked the railways to hand over a plan for running special trains as soon as possible. It is easier to transport people via trains than buses which is expensive and also has a higher risk of contracting the viral infection. Sources suggest that other such train journeys are also being planned; however, officially railways are still holding on to the position that it’s a one-time affair, as stated by RD Bajpai, spokesman of the ministry of railways.
The 24-coach train of unreserved seats, which usually accommodates a total of 72 people in one compartment, is accommodating only 54, keeping in mind the physical distancing norms. Railway Protection Force personnel has been deployed so that proper physical distancing norms are ensured. The train will have a non-stop journey and will only halt for watering and crew-changing. It will go through Ballharshah and Nagpur in Maharashtra, then Raipur, and eastwards towards Jharkhand, said reports.