Providing huge relief to people, specially in the country's small towns and cities, the railways will run 200 special passenger trains from June 1, the national transporter said on Tuesday. These trains will have non-air conditioned second-class sleeper coaches and will run daily.
"The fare of these trains will be minimal sleeper rates and can be availed by all categories of people," said a railway official.
These trains will be plied in addition to the Shramik Special and the air-conditioned special ones currently being operated on the Rajdhani routes connecting 15 major cities to Delhi.
All categories of passengers will be allowed to book tickets which will be available online.
"Indian Railways will run 200 non-AC trains daily as per the time table from June 1, whose online booking will start soon," Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet on Tuesday.
इसके अतिरिक्त भारतीय रेल 1 जून से टाइम टेबल के अनुसार प्रतिदिन 200 नॉन एसी ट्रेन चलायेगा जिसकी ऑनलाइन बुकिंग शीघ्र ही शुरु होगी।— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) May 19, 2020
While the railways is yet to state which routes these trains will run on, officials said they could cater to the smaller towns and cities.
The railways had earlier cancelled all its regular passenger services till June 30.
The Railways said the move to start these 200 trains would be helpful for migrants who can avail these trains if they are unable to board the Shramik Special ones.
"Efforts will be made such that they (migrants) will be able to board trains from the railway station head on mainline which is close to their existing location," the railways said.
The national transporter, which on Tuesday said it will no longer need the consent of the destination states to run the Shramik Special trains, also appealed to migrant workers to not panic and assured them they will be sent home "at the earliest" by doubling the number of trains being run for them to 200.
The railways also said it has asked state governments to locate and identify the migrants walking on roads to go to their home states and transport them to the nearest main line railway station after registering them at the nearest district headquarters.
It has also asked the states to give a list of these travellers to railway authorities so arrangements can be made for their further travel through Shramik Specials.
"Within the next two days, Indian Railways will double the number of Shramik Special Trains to 400 per day. All migrants are requested to stay where they are, Indian Railways will get them back home over the next few days," Goyal said in another tweet.
More than 21.5 lakh migrant workers have been transported to their home states through 'Shramik Special' trains in 19 days. The Railways operated more than 1,600 'Shramik Special' trains till Tuesday, it said.
(With inputs from PTI)