File photo of a Shramik Special train
NEW DELHI: Only four out of the total 3,840 Shramik Specials run so far have taken over 72 hours to reach their destinations since they started operating on May 1, Railway Board chairman V K Yadav said on Friday, reacting to reports of the trains being “lost”.
He also said 90 per cent of these migrant trains ran with an average speed higher than regular mail express trains.
“From May 20 to May 24, 71 trains were diverted because of high demand for trains to UP, Bihar, where 90 per cent trains were going from across the country,” Yadav said.
Among the destination-states for which the trains were diverted were Bihar (51), Uttar Pradesh (16), Jharkhand (2), Assam and Manipur (1 each).
Among the originating-states for which trains were diverted included Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan.
The clarifications came amid criticism over delays that the migrant trains were getting “lost” before reaching their destinations.
Till May 28, Yadav said, 3,840 Shramik Specials operated ferrying a total of 52 lakh passengers.
He said 1,524 Shramik train operated in last one week and over 20 lakh passengers were ferried.
“Railways has accommodated almost all requests received from the sending states and we are ready to meet all demand of Shramik movements,” he said, adding “as of now we have demand for around 492 trains”.
Yadav also that the Railways was compiling a list of people who died on the Shramik Special trains as he urged everyone with pre-existing health conditions, pregnant women and the aged to avoid unnecessary travel.