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First Shramik Special train from Bengal leaves for Bikaner

The first Shramik Special train from West Bengal left for Rajasthan’s Bikaner yesterday (Sunday, 17th May 2020) while a train carrying stranded migrants from Maharashtra reached Howrah station, a South Eastern Railway official said.

The 24-coach train carrying stranded people from Rajasthan left Shalimar station at 2 pm and is scheduled to reach Bikaner on Tuesday.

The Railways issued tickets to 1,608 people for travelling by the first Shramik Special from West Bengal, SER spokesperson Sanjay Ghosh said. As the train chugged out of the Shalimar station, many passengers clapped and cheered, relieved at being able to go to their homes or place of work after being stranded for two months.

“I had come to attend a programme here, but got stuck owing to the lockdown,” said a man who migrated to Rajasthan several years back from North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal and works there.

A businessman here, who was desperate to take his family back home to Rajasthan as they had got stuck here during a visit, said that he was relieved to have got tickets for the Shramik Special.

According to Ghosh, the passengers would be served food and water by the Railway’s ticketing and tourism arm IRCTC.

A Shramik Special train from Bandra in Mumbai arrived at Howrah station at 3.30 pm on Sunday with stranded labourers and other people, he said.

At least 1,654 passengers travelled by the train to West Bengal, the SER spokesperson said, adding that while some people got down at Kharagpur, most of them came to Howrah.

Medical screening facilities were arranged by the West Bengal government before the passengers were allowed to board buses for home.

Necessary medical checkup facilities for the passengers were arranged at both the entry and exit points by the state government, he said.