The railways on Saturday night said it had received "clearance" from West Bengal for running eight special trains to the state to ferry people stranded outside due to the ongoing lockdown, after a day-long war of words between the state and the Centre over the matter.
A senior railway official said three trains from Karnataka, two each from Punjab and Tamil Nadu, and one from Telangana will take stranded people to West Bengal over the next few days.
The official, however, said no such train departed for West Bengal on Saturday as claimed by the state.
"We have just received the proposal for running eight trains to West Bengal from Telangana, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu to ferry stranded people. While we had pending requests from these states to ferry passengers to West Bengal, the clearance from the eastern state was not there. Now, since we have it, we will run the trains," the official said.
However, the West Bengal Home Secretary said the Railways announcement is "misleading and incorrect" and that all the trains mentioned in their tweet were approved and communicated to the concerned states on May 8 and that no new decision has been taken today.
Ministry of Railways tweet is misleading and incorrect. All the trains mentioned in their tweet were approved and communicated to the concerned States on 8 May ( yesterday), and no new decision in this regard has been taken today. Further decisions to follow in due course.— Home Secretary - Govt. of West Bengal (@HomeSecretaryWB) May 9, 2020
Earlier in the day, Union Home minister Amit Shah accused the Mamata Banerjee government of not allowing trains to ferry stranded migrants to their homes, but the state refuted the charge saying around 6,000 people have already returned and 10 more trains carrying stranded labourers will arrive soon.