Inefficiently Run Shramik Trains Are Adding to Migrants’ Woes 

Some labourers on these special trains have had to put their lives at stake for basics like food and water.

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After two months of being stranded due to the coronavirus lockdown, migrant labourers across the country are now heading back home on the special Shramik trains.

However, some of them have had to pay with their lives for this journey back home. Some labourers on these special trains have had to put their lives at stake for basics like food and water. And the fact that the country is experiencing a scorching summer has only worsened their situation.

The question is if anyone is listening to their woes at all.

Are Special Shramik Trains Running Efficiently?

The government claims that 3,543 special Shramik trains were run between 1 May and 27 May, and 48 lakh workers have been transported back to their states.

However, the operation hasn’t nearly been smooth. There has been news of trains going off tracks, halting in forest areas for hours, and in certain instances taking double the needed time to reach the destination.

Passengers aboard a Shramik train bound for Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur from Mumbai spent three days travelling as the train was reportedly diverted to Rourkela in Odisha.

Let’s take a look at a few headlines from the past couple of weeks:

  • Mumbai-Bihar train failed to reach in even 40 hours, ruckus over water
  • Shramik special from Mumbai to Gorakhpur reaches Odisha's Rourkela instead
  • 4 migrants found dead on Shramik train in Varanasi
  • Video of toddler trying to wake up dead mother at a railway station in Bihar goes viral

The helplessness of migrant workers across the country is showing that the government, the Railway Ministry and the system have all deviated from their tracks. And if they’re unable to control the situation, they might lose people’s trust.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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