New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In order to ferry more migrants, the Indian Railways on Monday announced that 'Shramik Special' trains will run at their full capacity, carrying 1,700 passengers instead of 1,200.

In a statement, the Indian Railways further said that the special trains will now have three stoppages in the destination state other than the final stop, at the request of the state governments.  It also said that the 'Shramil Special' train capacity should be equal to the number of sleeper berths on the train.

The 'Shramik Special' trains has 24 coaches with a capacity to carry 72 passengers in each coach. Currently, these trains are running with 54 passengers in each coach due to social distancing norms. So far, the Indian Railways has ferried over 5 lakh passengers since May 1.

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"The Railways has a capacity to run 300 trains per day and we want to maximise it. We want to carry as many migrants home as possible over the next few days and have appealed to states to send approvals," news agency PTI quoted a railway official as saying.

The 'Shramik Special' trains were started by the government to ferry the migrant workers to their native villages who were left stranded across due to the coronavirus lockdown. On Sunday, the Ministry of Railways said that it has operated 366 'Shramik Special' trains since May 1 and ferried home around four lakh migrants stranded in various parts of the country.

Out of these 287 trains, 127 terminated in Uttar Pradesh, 87 in Bihar, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 20 in Odisha, 16 in Jharkhand, four in Rajasthan, three in Maharashtra, two each in Telangana and West Bengal, and one each in Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, the Indian Railways said.

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These trains have ferried migrants to cities like Tiruchchirappalli, Titlagarh, Barauni, Khandwa, Jagannathpur, Khurda Road, Chhapra, Balia, Gaya, Purnia, Varanasi among others.

Since the Shramik Special train service started, Gujarat has remained one of the top originating stations followed by Kerala. Among the receiving states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh remain the top states. Earlier, the railways drew flak from opposition parties for charging for these services.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma