The Shramik Special trains are being operated primarily on the requests of the states which want to send the migrant workers to their home states. The Railways is bearing 85 per cent of the total cost of running each of the trains while the rest is being borne by the states.
Out of the 2,570 trains, 505 are yet to reach their destination, while 2,065 trains have completed their journey.
According to data with the Railways, Uttar Pradesh (1246) has received the highest number of Shramik Special trains, followed by Bihar (804) and Jharkhand (124). Among the originating states, Gujarat (759) has used the most services to sent migrant workers home, followed by Maharashtra (483) and Punjab (291).
The coronavirus lockdown has had a devastating impact on the economy as well as on the livelihoods of lakhs of migrant workers. It shone the spotlight on the miseries of the migrant workers whose journeys on foot from several urban centres to their villages hundreds of kilometres away had grabbed headlines for almost the last two months.
There were incidents of many of them being killed in road accidents. A number of migrant labourers were even killed by a speeding train after they fell asleep on the tracks.
On May 1, the Railways started the migrant special trains to facilitate the movement of such workers back to their home states.