Ministry of Railways will operate 200 Mail Express trains from June 1 in an effort to return to normalcy, informed Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav during a press conference on Saturday. He also informed that Indian Railways will run 2,600 Shramik special trains in the next 10 days.
So far, only 30 per cent tickets for special trains that will be operated from June 1 have been booked and 190 trains still have availability, Yadav said. Fares for special trains have been kept at the same level as the pre-lockdown period, but senior citizen concession has been rescinded to prevent unnecessary travel, he added.
Regarding a letter sent by the West Bengal government asking all migrant trains to the state to be stalled till May 26 due to Cyclone Amphan, Yadav said it was due to a natural calamity and things would be back to normal soon.
"The West Bengal Chief Secretary wrote to me that restoration work is underway and they'll tell us soon when they will be able to receive the trains. As soon as they give us clearance, we'll run trains to West Bengal," he said.
Responding to a question on why certain trains were being diverted to longer routes, Yadav said since most of the migrant special trains were terminating in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Railways has decided to take decongested albeit longer routes to operate these trains.
"This method is employed even during normal times to avoid congested routes," he said. The Railways will run 100 pairs of special trains from June 1.