The Centre, Yesterday (Tuesday, 19th May 2020) diluted the role of States receiving migrant labourers through ‘Shramik Special’ trains, giving power to the railway ministry to coordinate with States who want to send migrants back to their home states. The consent of receiving states will not be required anymore.
This comes as the Centre looks to expedite the process, as close to three weeks since these trains began operating, migrants, who have been worst hit by the outbreak of Covid19, are still taking the road to return home. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases crossed 1 lakh on Monday.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by MHA on May 1st said that the sending State was mandated to receive consent of the receiving State before departure of the train. “This consent is not required anymore,” a senior railway ministry official said.
The ministry of home affairs yesterday issued a revised set of guidelines for running migrant special ‘Shramik’ trains in the country. The movement of shramik trains will be permitted by the ministry of railways in consultation with MHA, the SOP issued on Tuesday said.
“More or less, there is a consensus among State governments for movement of migrants,” the official said. “Now the railways can directly coordinate with sending States and run trains accordingly,” the official added. “Consent from terminating state (is) not necessary,” a railway ministry spokesperson said.