Three more trains, each carrying 1,200 migrant workers, left Surat on Sunday for Jagannathpur in Puri district of Odisha. The first train started at 10 am, the second one at 1 pm and the third train at 4 pm.
For the morning train, the passengers were told to reach Piyush Point in Pandesara by 6 am. Odia community leaders Bhagirath Behra, Bansidhar Lanka and Pradeep Sahoo who were present at the point handed over tickets to the migrant workers by collecting Rs 710 each. Later they were ferried to the railway station by SMC city buses.
Bansidhar Lanka of Pravashi Odia Trust said, “All the passengers reached Surat Railway station at 9 am.
Their temperature was checked and social distancing was maintained as they boarded the train.” The RPF and GRP personnel ensured social distancing among the migrant workers who were given water bottles, food packets and snacks by volunteers of an NGO.
Surat Railway Station director CR Garuda said, “Today we ran three trains from Surat to Jagannathpur Railway station.The trains will have eight halts where primary maintenance work and changing of staffers will be done. The passengers will get snacks and drinking water at these eight stations. On Monday, another three trains will run from Surat to Puri.”
The first train from Surat to Odisha was flagged off by BJP MP from Navsari, CR Patil, on Saturday afternoon. Secretary of Pravashi Odia Trust, Bansidhar Lanka said, “A list of names made by community leaders was forwarded to the collector along with their Aadhaar card copy and other details. Tickets were made according to the list.”
Surat Odia Welfare Association member Bhagirath Behra said, “At an average of 3,600 passengers daily, large number of these migrant workers can go home. There are around 4 lakh people from Odisha living in Surat. Once they reach Odisha, they will be quarantined for 14 days and will be allowed to go home after medical examination.”
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