Hours after Maharahstra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accused the Railways of not providing enough migrant special trains, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal lashed out at the state government for providing a list of only 46 trains on Monday despite making preparations for 125 trains.
“Where is the list for 125 trains from Maharashtra? As of 2 am, received list of only 46 trains of which five are to West Bengal and Odisha which cannot operate due to cyclone Amphan. We are notifying only 41 trains for today despite being prepared for 125!!!” – Mr Goyal tweeted.
Where is the list for 125 trains from Maharashtra? As of 2am, received list of only 46 trains of which 5 are to West Bengal and Odisha which cannot operate due to cyclone Amphan.
We are notifying only 41 trains for today despite being prepared for 125 !!!
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) May 24, 2020
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday had already engaged in a war of words over the running of Shramik Special trains. In a televised speech, Uddhav had claimed that while his government has been seeking 80 trains daily to send migrants back to their respective states, the Centre is sending only 30 to 40 trains daily. He added that his government has so far sent back 7 lakh migrants to their respective states in 481 trains, with the the state bearing 100 per cent of the costs — spending Rs 85 crore.
Soon after, Goyal tweeted saying that the Railways would operate 125 Shramik special trains for Maharashtra on Monday and asked Uddhav to share a list of migrants who would board these trains, along with their details, medical certificates and their originating and destination stations, within an hour with the Central Railway (CR).
Later in the day, Goyal again tweeted, “More than 2.5 hours have passed but still passenger details for 125 planned trains in Maharashtra not received by GM Central Railway from Government of Maharashtra.”
He also said that the Railways was ready to send as many trains as required to states, provided they do not “return empty”. “I hope that these trains will not have to leave empty after arriving at the station like it has happened earlier. I would like to assure you that the trains you need will be available,” he tweeted, referring to earlier occasions when migrants did not board special trains.
The prodding continued as he tweeted again five hours later.
“It is 12 o’clock in the night and even after 5 hours, we have not received the details and passenger list of 125 trains of tomorrow from the Government of Maharashtra. I have ordered the officials to wait and continue the preparations.”
He requested that the Maharashtra government could still send the Railways the list within next one hour and they would work all night to prepare for Monday’s trains. This was followed by his last tweet in which he rued that the Railways had to notify only 41 trains despite being prepared to run 125 trains from Maharashtra as the state failed to provide them with passenger details.
Meanwhile, the Central Railways, also came out with a press release stating that it had to cancel 65 trains due to lack of preparations on part of the Mahahrashtra government. “For the last two hours, rail authroties have been waiting for the list of passengers with details of their destination to plan 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,” it added.
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