Home / News / India /  Coronavirus lockdown: Indian Railways starts first special train for migrant workers

A sigh of relief for migrant workers stranded in Hyderabad as Telangana government arranged a special train for their movement. A train from Hyderabad's Lingampalli, carrying nearly 1,200 migrant workers, reached Hatia in Jharkhand on Friday morning. This was first train to ferry migrants amid nationwide lockdown, said railway ministry.

Considering the hardships faced by the people stuck in other states due to coronavirus lockdown, the Centre earlier allowed to start inter-state movement of students, migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims and other persons. About 10 million migrant labourers are stranded across the country, according to states. Telangana government requested Indian Railways to arrange special trains to send migrant labourers home.

"Today morning a one-off special train was run from Lingampalli to Hatia on request of the State Government of Telangana and as per the directions of Ministry of Railways," the Indian Railways said in a statement.

All necessary precautions including prior screening of passengers, maintaining social distancing at station and in the train were followed, Railways said.

To curb the spread of deadly coronavirus, Indian government implemented a 21-day nationwide lockdown from March 25. As the coronavirus cases continued to rise, the lockdown was extended till May 3.

In the wake of coronavirus pandemic in the country, Indian Railways cancelled passenger trains from March 22. However, the freight trains and special trains to carry essential items were allowed amid the lockdown.

The Centre last week issued fresh guidelines for inter-state movement. All states should designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending stranded people. The sending and receiving states must agree to "movement by road only," the ministry said. All the people travelling from one state to another, must undergo strict medical screening both at the source and destination cities. However, the movement of migrants, tourists and students will be restricted to non-containment zones.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 35,043 today, according to ministry of health and family welfare. The number of deaths in the country rose to 1,147, according to the date release by ministry of health and welfare.

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