The Chandigarh administration Tuesday arranged an additional Shramik Special train to Lucknow as thousands of registered and unregistered migrants gathered at the holding centre at Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26, for the medical screening.
Earlier only one train, with 1,600 passengers, was scheduled to depart from the city at 2 pm. However, as more than 3,200 migrants including from Chandigarh and neighboring cities, who registered themselves with UT administration, reached CCET-26., and additional train for 1,296 passengers was arranged on short notice.
Officials said that despite the additional train, hundreds of migrants are left for going to UP and will be accommodated in the coming days. There was resentment among several migrants, who were not able to board the train despite having valid registration. Police officers deputed in and around CCET had a tough time in controlling the crowds.
“After assessing the unexpected rush, we immediately tied up with the UP government and Northern Railways respectively. By afternoon, everything was streamlined. Our counterparts based in Lucknow made all preparations for the arrival of 1,296 additional migrants from Chandigarh. The Northern Railways also agreed to provide us an additional train with 18 coaches. Railway lines were found to be clear for the train in the night so train departed at 9pm. We purchased the additional tickets for 1,296 people besides 1,600 and handed tickets to all the passengers, said IAS Yashpal Garg, Secretary Social Welfare.
“Indeed, several migrants with valid registration were left behind but people including pregnant women, women with kids, aged persons, handicapped are our priority. However, we are ensuring one male companion with every woman and kids,” he added.
Rajeev Singla, another officer, said, “Additional food packets and water bottles were arranged for the 1,296 migrants. Around 75,000 migrants out of the one lakh registered migrants in Chandigarh belong to UP and Bihar and as many 31,000 stranded people have been sent from Chandigarh since May 11.”
The next Shramik special train is scheduled for Jounpur and Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. A shramik train is being scheduled for Dharbhanga in Bihar for May 28.
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