CHANDIGARH, MAY 4 (Punjab Mail)- To facilitate movement of stranded persons during the lockdown period, Union Railways Ministry has decided to run Special Shramik Trains, for which a detailed advisory has been issued.

The advisory has been issued in pursuance of Ministry of Home Affairs Order dated 1st of May through which movement of migrants workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stuck at different places has been allowed. Divisional Railway Manager Firozpur Rajesh Aggarwal has been designated as nodal officer for this purpose.

The advisory requires state governments to designate

nodel authorities and to develop standed protocol for receiving and sending such stranded persons. In case, a group of stranded persons wish to move between one State/ UT and another State/ UT, the sending and receiving States may consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by rail.

The originating state will finalise the requirement of special trains in consultation with receiving states and communicate the requirement of special trains to the nodal officer of Railways.

The Shramik Special train shall be a non-stop train bound for a single destination. Normally, the Shramik Special trains will be run for distances more than 500 kms. These trains will not stop at any in between station before the destination station. The train with full length composition with social distancing (not counting the inside middle berths), can carry approximately 1200 passengers each.

The originating state shall plan the group of travellers accordingly. The occupancy of train should not be less than 90 %.  The consent of receiving state shall be obtained by originating state and a copy provided to Railways before departure of train.

Further, the advisory stipulates all the persons would be screened by the originating state and those found asymptomatic for COVID-19 would only be allowed to travel. The originating state will provide a certificate in this regard along with a list of passengers including their mobile numbers/addresses. Railway reserves the right not to allow any passenger to travel if he is found to have any symptom for COVID-19.

Regarding the train fare, the advisory states that Railways shall print train tickets to the specified destination, as per number of passengers indicated by originating state and hand them over to the local state government authority. The local state government authority shall handover the tickets to the passengers cleared by them and collect the ticket fare and hand over the total amount to Railways.

The State government shall issue food packets and drinking water at the originating points. It will be mandatory for all passengers to wear face  masks/face covers.  The originating state will encourage all passengers to download and use Aarogya Setu App.  For trains with long journey beyond 12 hours, one meal will be provided by the railways, the spokesperson added.