1200 migrant workers in Udaipur heaved a sigh of relief as the first Shramik express departed from the Udaipur railway station today evening at 6:30pm.
An initiative of the central government to transport migrant workers to their native lands by road, was met with resistance from the states. At the behest of the Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan and subsequent pressure from media and other states, it was decided to run trains to transport the workers.
A few trains have already begun from other states, and trains from Jaipur as well as Kota too had begun plying. The first train from Udaipur left today evening at 6:30pm. The train is expected to reach Muzaffarnagar via the Bandikui route at 4pm on Wednesday, 6 May.
Workers had begun their registration through emitra portal a few days back once the instructions were issued. The administration set up teams to identify the workers in batches depending on the route and their native states.
It was decided that once the first 1200 workers on a particular route are finalised, the first train will be flagged off.
Registered workers were intimated by the administration and arrangements were made to get them to the railway station.
Workers were rounded up as per their destination and 1,200 workers left for their homes today. Indidivuals and families were present at the station today. To prevent chaos, organised kiosks and structures were setup to ensure that proper scanning of workers be done while following social distancing norms.
6 persons occupied 8 berths, so that social distancing could be maintained. Each worker was given a packet of food and a water bottle. No one could confirm whether they will be given additional food and water enroute or not.
More workers arrived at the station than the 1,200 seats made available today. These workers and additional workers will be sent in the next train to Muzaffarnagar, which departs on Wednesday at 11am.
More of the story in pictures
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