The Ministry of Railways has said that over 70,000 migrants, who were stranded due to the countrywide lockdown have reached their homes safely via Sharamik Special trains.
A total of 76 Shramik Special trains have carried over 70,000 migrants to their homes between May 1 to May 5, the railway ministry said.
As many as 35 trains originated from Gujarat, followed with 13 from Kerala.
Among the receiving states, Bihar has accepted 13 trains, with 11 more currently on the journey and six in the pipeline. Uttar Pradesh has received 10 such trains, with 12 more in the pipeline. The West Bengal government had given clearance to only two trains -- one each from Rajasthan and Kerala . Odisha has received seven trains and five are on their way to the state, with one more in the pipeline.
These 24 coaches Shramik special trains, which have a capacity of 72 seats, is now reduced to 54 due to social distancing norms with the middle seat not being allotted to any passenger.
Railways drew a lot of flak from opposition parties for taking fares from migrants. Amid the criticism, the government said railways had subsidised 85 per cent of ticket fare for special trains and that states had to pay the remaining 15 per cent.
The Ministry of Railways had recently launched special trains to ferry migrant labourers during the coronavirus lockdown. The railways started running the special service under the name 'Shramik Express'.