Close to 6,000 migrant workers left Mumbai in five Shramik Special trains on Saturday with two more train, carrying another 2,000 workers, were preparing to leave. This was the highest number of trains to leave in a single day, so far. Of the five, at least two left from CSMT for the first time following a nationwide lockdown while a third one from CSMT is being planned.
The trains were operated from outside Mumbai and from stations such as Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Thane and Panvel on the Central Railway as well as Vasai Road and Dahanu on the Western Railway (WR). The decision to run trains from Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) instead of terminus from within Mumbai such as Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, CSMT, Bandra and Mumbai Central was taken to avoid a repeat of the Bandra incident, where thousands of migrant workers had assembled demanding trains back home.
However, Friday marked the first trains out of Mumbai that left from LTT, taking migrants to Basti in Uttar Pradesh. After this, at least three trains were planned from CSMT, while one each left from LTT, Thane and Panvel. Each of these trains had 24 coaches carrying close to 1,200 passengers.
The five trains that left on Saturday included CSMT-Lucknow, CSMT-Gonda, Thane-Baroni, LTT-Gonda, Panvel-Titlagad while Panvel-Rewa and CSMT-Basti were preparing to leave. Chief PRO Shivaji Sutar said, “It’s the highest number of trains to leave in a single day and they were arranged based on the request of the state government.”
A total of 18 trains have left from MMR since May 3 when the first train left from Bhiwandi to Gorakhpur.