The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday allowed for movement of migrants, students, tourists and others stranded people at different places by special trains. The Railways is expected to soon issue detailed guidelines on sale of tickets. Guidelines to ensure social distancing and other safety measures to be taken at the train stations will also be announced soon. The Centre will be appointing nodal officers to co-ordinate with state and Union Territories (UT) for the movement of stranded migrants and others.
Earlier, the first special train ferrying migrants left from Telangana for Jharkhand on Friday early morning. The train had 1,200 passengers from Lingampally in Telangana who were on their way home to Hatia district in Jharkhand. The 24-coach train, which can seat 1,728 people carried just 1,296 passengers to ensure social distancing guidelines. Jharkhand was among the first few states in the country to seek permission for special trains to ferry its citizens. A second train left Kerala’s Ernakulam in the evening for Bhubaneswar in Odisha and carried 1,000 passengers. All the passengers are being screened before boarding the train.
Earlier, after the Centre allowed travel of migrants and other travellers by bus, several states had asked for transport via trains citing the long distance that many passengers had to travel.