Special train to Jharkhand flagged off from Hyderabad

1,225 migrant workers from IIT-H work site take the train to Hatia

Updated - May 01, 2020 09:06 pm IST

Published - May 01, 2020 08:30 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Sangareddy District Collector M. Hanumantha Rao (left) at the Lingampally Railway Station to help migrant workers board the special train to Hatia on Friday morning.

Sangareddy District Collector M. Hanumantha Rao (left) at the Lingampally Railway Station to help migrant workers board the special train to Hatia on Friday morning.

South Central Railway (SCR) in association with the Telangana government ran early on Friday morning the country’s first passenger train exclusively to move the migrant workers post COVID-19 lockdown.

The May Day gift to 1,225 labourers hailing from Jharkhand has been to run the special train with 22 sleeper coaches from Lingampally railway station in the western suburbs of Hyderabad city towards Hatia, a small town in Ranchi district, at about 4.50 a.m.

The workers were brought in about special 56 buses from the nearby construction sites on the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) campus to the railway station by the local police and the Sangareddy district administration, where they were thermal screened, details taken before being allowed to board under the supervision of senior railway officials and the railway police.

The Lingampally station was barricaded to prevent outsiders from sneaking in, with police guarding all entrance and exit points for utmost security. Top officials of the SCR informed that the operation was taken up based on the request of the Telangana overnment and was taken up in utmost secrecy in view of the incidents in Mumbai where rumours about special trains brought thousands of labourers to the railway stations.

The train will be running non-stop with SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya ensuring the railway authorities make all arrangements for food and drinking water supply enroute as the journey could take up to 24 hours. In each bogie about 52 people have been accommodated, maintaining the mandatory social distancing inside with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel deputed to escort the train, informed chief PRO Ch. Rakesh.

The decision for taking out the special train was taken at the highest levels of the Railway Board and the Ministry of Railways. Tickets have been issued to the travelling migrant workers and officials indicated that the Telangana government has picked up the tab. Incidentally, there were protests by migrant labourers at the IIT-H construction site on Wednesday, demanding that they be allowed to go home as they were not having sufficient food or proper accommodation .

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