Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: The Indian Railways, which has started Shramik Specials to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists, has in eight days operated 251 trains and transported over 2.6 lakh people.

A senior Railway Ministry official said that on Friday, the national transporter has operated 43 trains and 10 more trains are planned to run by midnight.

He said, second Shramik Special train left from Delhi on Friday for Bihar's Muzaffarpur with over 1,100 passengers. On Thursday, the first train from New Delhi left for Madhya Pradesh's Chatarpur.

On Thursday, the national transporter has run 61 Shramik Specials from different parts of the city.

He said, in the last eight days, the national transporter has operated 251 trains and transported over 2.6 lakh people to their native places in different states.

The railways has started the Shramik Specials from May 1. These specials are run on the request of state governments who are paying for the fare of the stranded migrants.

Politics over the rail fare of migrant workers has heated after Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday announced that her party would bear the charge for the train tickets of migrant workers.

The railways has suspended the services of the passenger, mail and express trains to combat the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) since March 24.

The railways is running the freight and special parcel trains to ensure the supply of essential items across the country.

On Friday morning, 16 migrant workers on way back to their homes from Maharashtra were run over by a goods train near Aurangabad. The incident happened around 5.22 a.m. when the migrants, who were on their way back to their homes fell asleep on the railway tracks. According to the railway officials, the group of the migrants were hit by an empty petroleum tanker train, which was proceeding from Cherlapalli in Telangana to Paniwadi, near Manmad in Maharashtra.

(With Agency Inputs)