The trend of migrants returning by special trains from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal states with high migrant population is encouraging, railway board chairman said yesterday (Friday, 26th June 2020) adding that it is a sign of economic activity picking up.
Special trains returning from high migrant population states have shown over 100% occupancy from June 26 till June 30, according to railway ministry data, indicating that may be migrants who had gone back to their home states on Shramik Specials during the lockdown are returning as lockdown restrictions have eased.
Most special trains from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bangalore are running on 100% occupancy over the next four days, the data showed.
It is very encouraging to note that some of the trains which are moving in the reverse direction from UP to Mumbai, Bihar to Mumbai or UP to Gujarat or West Bengal to Gujarat are showing increase in occupancy day by day. This is an indicator that the economic situation is picking up. We are talking to state governments and in the coming week we will announce new special trains based on occupancy,” railway board chairman VK Yadav said during a press conference.
At present, railways is running 15 pairs of premium Rajdhani trains connecting Delhi with different parts of the country and 100 pairs of long-distance trains, which began on June 1. Yadav said that the migrant workers who are returning to the cities are doing so in the special trains that are being run by the Railways since June 1.
Railways till now has transported nearly 62.8 lakh migrants on board more than 4,594 Shramik Special trains that began plying from May 1 to ferry stranded migrants to their home states.
UP and Bihar that accounted for nearly 75% of trains ferrying migrants back received 1,723 and 1,680 Shramik trains respectively while West Bengal accounted for 282 trains.
According to ministry’s data, some special trains from UP including Avadh Express from Gorakhpur to Bandra have an occupancy rate of 121.60% over the next four days till June 30, Kushinagar Express from Gorakhpur to Mumbai has an occupancy rate of 107.8% and the Gorakhpur-Ahmedabad special has an occupancy of 121%.
Similarly special trains from Bihar including Muzaffarpur to Ahmedabad have an occupancy rate of more than 127.8%, Muzaffarpur-Bandra terminal 115% and Danapur to an occupancy of 121%. Most trains from Bihar are scheduled to terminate at Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad with heavy occupancy bookings.
From West Bengal, which accounted for 282 Shramik Trains thus far, includes special scheduled trains from Howrah to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Secunderabad running on full occupancy.
The Centre has extended the suspension of Passenger trains, including express and suburban services from June 30 till August 12. On suspension of regular trains, the railway board chairman said it was not possible to resume regular trains services given the current situation with Covid-19; however, more special trains will be added as per demand from select routes in the near future, he added.