The first special train for Uttar Pradesh carrying more than 800 workers who were stranded in Maharashtra reached Lucknow on Sunday, marking an end to the long wait of the migrants who had been desperate to return home since the nationwide lockdown began over a month ago.
The railways is running Shramik Special trains to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded in various parts of the country since March 25.
The first train left for Jharkhand from Hyderabad on Friday.
The 02121 Shramik Special from Nashik started its journey Saturday morning and reached Lucknow nearly 24 hours later.
As the dawn broke, the first announcement about the train’s arrival at the Charbagh station was made but the sweet voice synonymous with railway announcements was missing.
A few minutes later at 5.52 am, the train entered Platform No. 1 amid heavy presence of railway, police and health officials.
Some passengers, excited to return home after remaining stranded for over a month amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus, waved at the officials and others captured the moment on their cameras.
A railway official said the passengers were allowed to exit through two gates one near the place engine was to stop and the other towards the rear of the train. The public address system continuously urged the passengers to maintain social distance on the platform and to exit the station premises only after their medical check up is done.
After the medical check-up was done, the passengers were given food packets and told to board the UPSRTC buses parked outside the station to return to their homes.
The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation deployed 32 buses to cater to the migrants from all districts in the state, Lucknow Depot Regional Manager PK Bose said.
“The total number of passengers who have boarded the UPSRTC buses is 841. The major destinations covered are Siddharthanagar, Shravasti, Kannauj and Bahraich,” Managing Director of UPSRTC Raj Shekhar said in a statement.
On Friday, around 5,000 migrant labourers from UP stranded in Madhya Pradesh returned in 155 buses, while around 1,341 labourers hailing from MP were sent back home from Uttar Pradesh.
Around4,00,000 workers stranded in Delhi and 12,000 in Haryana have already reached UP.