Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted that the Railways had planned 145 trains for Tuesday but only 13 trains could be run till 3.00 pm due to lack of passengers.
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“On request of Maharashtra govt, we arranged 145 Shramik Special Trains today. These trains are ready since morning. Fifty trains were to leave till 3 pm but only 13 trains have due to lack of passengers.
“I request Maharashtra government to fully cooperate in ensuring that the distressed migrants are able to reach their homes and bring passengers to stations in time, and not cause further delays. It will affect the entire network and planning,” Goyal tweeted.
Earlier, the Railways had issued statements saying that it planned 125 trains for evacuating migrants from Maharashtra on May 25 but the state government was only able to give information for 41 trains till 2 am.
“Out of these 41 trains, only 39 trains could run as passengers could not be brought by local authorities and these two trains had to be cancelled.
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“After meticulous planning and sustained effort, the Railways mobilised its resources at a very short notice and prepared 145 Shramik trains to depart from Maharashtra on May 26,” a statement issued by the Railways said.
“Till 12 noon, 25 trains were planned from Maharashtra to run but no departure could happen due to lack of passengers. Boarding of the first train could only commence at CSMT at 12.30 pm,” it said.
According to the Railways, 68 trains were planned to depart for Uttar Pradesh, 27 to Bihar, 41 to West Bengal, one each to Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Kerala and two each to Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
Over the past two days, a political slugfest over Shramik Special trains had begun between Goyal and the Maharashtra government with the state alleging that not enough trains were being provided to them.
Goyal on Sunday night said, “We are ready to provide 125 Shramik Special trains to Maharashtra.”
“Since you have said that you have a list ready that is why I am requesting you to please provide all information like from where the train will run, the list of passengers according to the trains, their medical certificate and where the train is to go, to the General Manager of Central Railway within the next hour, so that we can plan the time of trains,” he had tweeted.
Commenting on it, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday tweeted, “Maharashtra government has given you a list of workers who wish to return home. The only request is that the train should reach the station, as announced earlier.”
“The Gorakhpur-bound train had reached Odisha,” the Sena’s Rajya Sabha member further said.
He also asked Goyal if the Ministry of Railways had made any such list while running the Nagpur-Udhampur migrant train on May 14.