The first special train ferrying over 1,200 stranded migrant labourers from Telangana to Jharkhand reached its destination Hatia Friday night, from where the state government would take them to their respective districts in sanitised buses, following COVID-19 protocols.
The train starting from Lingampally in Telangana to Hatia is the first one run by the railways since its services were suspended due to the nationwide lockdown.
The migrant workers were visibly ecstatic as the train chugged into the Hatia station, on the outskirts of Ranchi city, around 11.15 PM.
They were welcome with roses by senior officials.
“I am very happy. I don’t have words to express my delight…. We were given proper food there and also here,” a migrant worker from Ramgarh said, adding he always believed that he would return home.
Thanking the government for their safe return, another migrant worker said he “has no words to express my delight”.
“(They underwent) preliminary screening and buses will take them to their districts where medical screening will be carried out…. After medical screening, they will be home-quarantined and if anybody shows symptoms, they would be kept separately,” Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray told reporters at the Hatia station.
A high-level meeting was held between the state officials and those from the railways for a proper coordination on the train’s arrival.
“The 24-coach train started at 4.50 am on Friday,” RPF DG Arun Kumar told PTI in Delhi.
This is the first run of a special train after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allowed the states to ferry migrants back home in buses on Friday.
Many states, including Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Telangana, had requested for special trains to ferry migrant workers back home.
courtesy: Press Trust of India