Following claims and counterclaims between the state government of Maharashtra and the Union government over the issue of availability of an adequate number of Shramik Special Trains, Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal sent out a flurry of tweets last night.
Following this, Central Railway also sent out a clarification on the issue last night.
Central Railway Statement on Controversy Surrounding Shramik Special Train Availability in Maharashtra
Indian Railways is running Shramik special trains for stranded migrants, workers, tourists and students in various parts of the country at the request of the state governments from 1.5.2020.
On request from Government of Maharashtra, Shramik special trains have been run from various stations of Mumbai, Pune, Bhusawal, Nagpur, & Solapur divisions of Central Railway, Nanded division of South Central Railway, Mumbai Central division of Western Railway and also from Konkan Railway. On demands given on daily basis by nodal officers of the Government of Maharashtra, Railways have run 520 Shramik special trains carrying 7,32,166 migrant workers till 23.05.2020. The demands for Shramik special trains are given by State Government with list of travellers, their destinations and other details after consulting receiving states.
So far Railways had to cancel 65 trains, after it was scheduled, for want of adequate preparations by State Government of Maharashtra. Certain States like WB, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha, Rajasthan have been reluctant to give consent for receiving Shramik Special trains. The State Government of Kerala has requested for prior details of the migrants going to Kerala state to enable them to be in readiness for receiving the migrants with proper transportation etc. This has resulted in cancellation of train to Kerala for want of details of migrants going to Kerala. State Government of West Bengal requested that due to Amphon cyclone, they are not in a position to receive trains till 26.5.2020. Also for some places like Tirunelveli, Una, Rewa & Bilaspur the Shramik special trains departed with less number of passengers than the capacity. In fact, it is observed that there are not much demand from State Government of Maharashtra for running Shramik special trains from the districts like Nashik, Dhule, Amravati, Chandrapur and Akola etc.
There has been continuous interaction of Railways’ nodal officer and his team with the nodal officers of Government of Maharashtra for planning and scheduling of Shramik special trains on day to day basis. So far demands given by the State Government of Maharashtra on day to day basis have been complied fully and in future too Railways is willing to supply trains as per the requirements and details given by state government. Central Railway has been asking for detailed list from the nodal officer of Maharashtra. Minister of Railways, has also directed to run 125 trains tomorrow in Maharashtra and for the last two hours Railway Authorities have been waiting for the list of passengers with details of their destination to plan for the trains. Planning special trains is an elaborate process which requires time and unless lists are given in time, Maharashtra Government will make it impossible for Railways to run the train.