New Delhi-Howrah Spl Train: Stranded Return Months After Lockdown

‘Was stuck in Patna from 52 days’ : People reach home in Bengal amid lockdown as first special train reached Howrah.

Published18 May 2020, 01:50 PM IST
Coronavirus
2 min read

Camera and report: Sanjoy Deb

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

Producer: Zijah Sherwani

Almost two months into the COVID-19 lockdown, people finally return home as 15 special train services start. The historic Howrah Junction came alive as the first train chugged in with over 1,000 passengers on 14 May 2020.

Health Check-ups of Passengers Before Leaving the Station

The station was sanitised, temperature and health checks-ups of all passengers coming in and out of the station was done. Police personnel ensured all safety protocols are followed. Buses were arranged by the state Govt and taxi services were available for passengers to travel home. Passengers returning will have to undergo 14-day home quarantine.

Migrants Also Managed to Take the Special Train

Elated to have finally reached home, many migrant labourers told The Quint that they asked their family members to send money to purchase the tickets.

There is no work. There’s nothing to eat. I paid for my own ticket. It cost me Rs 2700.
Migrant traveling to Midnapore

Journey Satisfactory for Most Except Some Complains About Social Distancing

The train journey was comfortable according to passengers. From cleanliness to staff to other facilities, passengers were satisfied with the safety protocols in place.

We were informed earlier that bedsheets and food will not be provided. That’s why we were prepared accordingly. Dry items like biscuits and chips were available in the pantry, no problem.
Passenger travelling from Patna to Kolkata.

The one complaint that passengers had was that many fellow travellers didn’t follow social distancing. And the police onboard the trains should have ensured that people follow these safety protocols.

Nobody was maintaining social distancing. No one was even told to either. When my sanitizer finished, I asked for more and they didn’t give it to me. Passengers from Delhi who were sitting on the seat, got down at Gaya and I sat in their place. What if that person is a COVID-19 carrier?
Student who reached home in Kolkata after 2 months

These Special Train Services connecting different parts of the country began on 12 May 2020 and will run daily.

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