The second Delhi-Goa Rajdhani Express arrived a little before 1pm on Sunday (17th May 2020) with 347 passengers. With word having already got around that all passengers will have to pay Rs 2,000 for testing, there were fewer anxious moments witnessed as compared to the drama that unfolded on Saturday.
Close to half the passengers who disembarked at Margao railway station had already paid for the testing online, while the others were given the option to pay in cash, scan a QR code and even withdraw money from a mobile State Bank of India ATM parked at the entrance of the railway station. Officials of the bank also set up a counter at the station verifying those who had already paid online for the test. Card swiping POS machines were not used.
Cash paid at counters manned by district authority staff, who were all wearing gloves, was put directly into an envelope to avoid contact with those who arrived from red zones. Those from armed forces and those on government duty were exempted from paying for the tests. District authorities Konkan Railway and police ensured social distancing was maintained during the entire process that lasted around four hours.
There was heavy police presence in and around the Margao railway station as migrants began gathering after hearing about the Shramik special trains. One left in the morning at 10.30 am with 722 passengers while another left late evening for Uttarakhand.
Passengers who arrived on Saturday on the Rajdhani Express were inconvenienced as they had to wait overnight at the stadium while their test results came back. Learning from this experience, Covid-19 task force’s incident commander for Margao, Ajit Panchwadkar said the passengers were put up in hotels near the district hospital in Margao to avoid any inconvenience to them.