Railways would permit Movement of Shramik Special trains in consultation with MHA
Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) on Movement of Stranded Workers by Trains
In continuation of the revised consolidated guidelines on lockdown measures dt. 17.05.2020, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued revised Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) on movement of stranded workers by trains.
The SOPs allow movement of stranded workers by trains as under:
Ministry of Railways (MoR) would permit Movement of Shramik Special trains in consultation with MHA.
All States/ UTs should designate nodal authorities and make necessary arrangements for receiving and sending such stranded persons.
Based on the requirements of States/UTs, the train schedule, including stoppages and destination would be finalized by MoR. The same would be communicated by MoR to the States/UTs for making suitable arrangements for sending and receiving such stranded workers.
Publicity of train schedule, protocols for entry and movement of passengers, services to be provided in coaches, and arrangements with States/UTs for booking of tickets would be done by MoR.
Sending States/ UTs and MoR would ensure that all passengers are compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the train.
Social distancing to be observed by all passengers during boarding and travel.
On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination State/ UT.
Proactive coordination among States and Railways essential to run more trains for smooth transport of Migrant Workers; District Authorities must give their requirements to Railways
Run more Buses, ensure their Smooth Transition across States and inter-State borders
Create en-route Rest Places with basic amenities for people on foot, till they are guided to bus/rail stations
Dispel rumours, give clarity on train/bus departures: MHA to States
In a communication to the States, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has noted that fear of COVID-19 infection and apprehension of loss of livelihood are the main driving factors for the movement of stranded workers towards their homes. In order to mitigate the distress of migrant workers, the communication stresses on a number of measures that may be taken by the State governments, pro-actively in coordination with the Centre. These are:
Operation of more special trains by pro-active coordination between States and with Ministry of Railways;
Increase in number of buses for transporting migrants; allowing entry of buses carrying migrants at inter-state border;
More clarity may be given about departure of trains/ buses, as lack of clarity coupled with rumours caused unrest amongst the workers;
Arrangement of designated rest places, with adequate facilities for sanitation, food and healthcare, could be made by the States on routes where migrants are known to be already travelling on foot;
District Authorities may guide workers moving on foot to designated rest places, nearby bus terminals or railway stations by arranging transportation;
Special attention may be given to the specific requirements of women, children and elderly amongst the migrant workers;
District Authorities may involve NGO representatives at rest places etc, to alleviate the notion of long quarantine at rest places. Workers may also be encouraged to remain at places where they are;
Enlisting the migrants with their addresses and contact numbers. This may be helpful in contact tracing in due course.
The communication reiterates that District Authorities must ensure that no migrant worker has to resort to walking on roads or railway tracks to reach his/her destination. They may request Ministry of Railways for running trains, as per requirement.