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Western Railway announces 14 special trains for north India as migrants head home

The special trains for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam will start running from Maharashtra on Saturday.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: April 9, 2021 6:32:08 pm
India covid cases, mumbai covid numbers, Maharashtra lockdown, maharashtra covid news, indian expressMigrant workers at Mumbai's Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on Sunday night. With Maharashtra annoucing a limited lockdown, some migrants workers have decided to return to their hometowns again. (Express Photo: Pradip Das)

The Western Railway on Friday announced 14 special trains for north Indian states from Maharashtra to cater to the rising number of migrants heading home. Earlier this week, the Central Railway had also increased the frequency of North India-bound trains and started three special trains.

Over the past week, a steady flow of migrants have been leaving the city after partial lockdown was announced in Maharashtra recently, rendering many workers jobless yet again.

“We are monitoring the waiting list every day. The special trains have been announced as per the rising demand. More trains will be announced in the coming days,” said Western Railway General Manager Alok Kansal.

Despite the present restrictions, which allow only those with reserved tickets to gain entry on the station premises, migrants continue to throng the platforms.

On Thursday, about 900 passengers gathered at the Bandra terminus. As many as 300 were found without any ticket and asked to leave the station premises.

Senior railway officials reiterated the rule that no passenger without a reserved ticket will be allowed on the station premises as the partial lockdown continues to remain in effect. The Central Railway, which had allowed issuing of platform tickets, stopped it on Thursday.

Kansal said they have asked the state government to give them permission to collect fines from passengers who are not following the Covid-appropriate norms. At present, a small number of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation marshalls are deployed to collect fines from rule violators.

Kansal said there is no need to rush to stations much ahead of the journey time or panic as the state government has been cooperating with commuters regarding dissemination of required information.

“Passengers with valid reserved tickets should not worry about the night curfew restrictions as the Western Railway asked the state authorities to allow them to travel,” he added.

The Western Railway has also made arrangements for 410 isolation coaches or Covid-care centres for Covid-19 positive patients with mild symptoms.

Due to the new restrictions imposed on April 5, the number of daily average passengers in Mumbai local trains fell to 14 lakh from 17.5 lakh.

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