To facilitate movement of the passengers, Bengal has appointed 17 nodal officers for each of the originating states. A total of nine trains carrying nearly 11,000 migrant workers will reach Bengal Today.
The state government has asked officials to arrange swab tests for all passengers coming from Maharashtra. The first train carrying back pilgrims from Haridwar will reach Howrah today afternoon. In a letter to the ministry of railways on Saturday, chief secretary Rajiva Sinha said the state is making arrangements to send 1,608 passengers to Rajasthan. Sinha had on Thursday reached out to the chief secretaries of Maharashtra, Kerala, New Delhi and Rajasthan and given them detailed plans on receiving the inbound trains.
The administration has also prepared a blueprint to manage health check-up and transport of nearly 1.25 lakh people over the next month. “This is going to be a mammoth task and some West Bengal Railway Police divisions like Siliguri GRP will have to bear bigger responsibilities. A total of 66 trains will reach Malda and Cooch Behar, and Siliguri GRP will have to manage that,” said an official at Nabanna.
Each of the special trains arriving in Bengal is carrying around 1,200 passengers and the West Bengal Railway Police requires 150 personnel to attend to them. “This will require additional manpower at some stations and we are already mobilising that,” the official said. Apart from maintaining law and order, railway police is helping passengers in deboarding, medical screening and documentation.
They are also helping passengers board buses. “Multiple stakeholders are working to make this mammoth exercise successful. All state agencies are working in tandem to ensure safe return of the passengers. We are optimising our manpower on need basis,” said Adhir Sharma, DG and IGP of West Bengal Railway Police.
“We are also concerned about the personal protection of personnel attending to the passengers. There could be passengers who have Covid-19 symptoms. Our forces have been briefed and provided with necessary equipment,” a GRP official said.