Witnessing a tremendous rush for train journey, more than 1.6 lakh passengers booked their seats in all 30 AC Special service over the next seven days.
Besides, continuing with the homebound journey, about 6.8 lakh stranded migrants boarded over 600 Shramik Specials for various parts of the country in a biggest ever evacuation exercise carried by Indian Railways so far.
According to railways, 90,331 tickets were booked for 1,69,039 passengers till Tuesday evening for AC Special trains.
In an unprecedented demand after 50 days hiatus, Nearly 8,000 passengers boarded the first eight special trains which started their journey from six different stations on Tuesday while another nine special trains will start from the originating stations on Wednesday.
“Almost all trains are booked for a week and on average each of them will accommodate between 850 to 1200 passengers. In a week, Railways will be ferrying more than 1.6 lakh passengers,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Maximum booking of 12,845 berths for passengers were done on Howrah-New Delhi special trains followed by Bengaluru-New Delhi (11,643) and Dibrugarh-New Delhi (11,172). The other three special trains which saw maximum booking for passengers were Mumbai-New Delhi (10,991), New Delhi-Dibrugarh (10,722) and New Delhi-Howrah (10,174).
There will be daily operation of special trains on these routes. Officials said it’s taking a couple of days for mobilization of the rakes at the required stations for running these trains.
It is mandatory for passengers to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones, before commencing their journey on AC Special trains.
As per Home Ministry guidelines, on arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state/UT.
Railways has maintained that before commencing journey, passengers are advised to check their destination state regarding all such protocols.
Meanwhile, the health department of Delhi government issued a Standard Operating Procedure saying that all the asymptomatic persons reaching the national capital would be allowed to go to their respective homes.
Since the trains will be operated amidst the ongoing nationwide lockdown, only the passengers with confirmed e-tickets will be allowed to enter the stations.
However, no RAC, wait-list ticket or on-board booking by the ticket-checking staff will be permitted, the railways said.
Subsequent to the Ministry of Home Affairs order regarding movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places by special trains,Indian Railways had decided to operate “Shramik Special” trains.
Railways also said nearly 6.8 lakh stranded migrant workers, tourists and students have been transported by Shramik Special trains till Tuesday afternoon.
In these Shramik Special trains, proper screening of passengers is ensured before boarding the train. During the journey, passengers are being provided free meals and water by the IRCTC for which it gets reimbursed by the Railways.
The Shramik trains have moved to various states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The passenger service was suspended for 50 days in view of the lockdown imposed to check the spread of coronavirus.