Just two days after Railway Minister exposed the Maharashtra government over the issue of trains for movement of migrants, the Railways again had to cancel several trains from Maharashtra today due to lack of passengers. Even though Railways is arranging adequate number of trains as per request of the nodal officers in Maharashtra, the state govt has not been able to provide the required list of passengers and their destinations, which had led to large scale cancellation of trains.
After only 39 trains were run yesterday although the Railways had planned to run 125 trains, the same thing seems to be repeating today. According to Railway Ministry, the Central Railways was prepared to run 145 trains from Maharashtra today as demanded by the state govt, but several trains had to be cancelled as the state government failed to give the list of passengers and their destinations. The Railways had planned to run 25 trains by 12 noon today, but not a single train could be run by that time. As many as 18 trains were scheduled to run from Mumbai up to 12 noon, but none of them ran. The boarding for the first train took place only at 12.30 PM, which means again today a large number of trains scheduled to run from Maharashtra will have to be cancelled.
On request of Maharashtra Govt, we arranged 145 Shramik Special Trains today. These trains are ready since morning. 50 trains were to leave till 3 pm but only 13 trains have due to lack of passengers.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) May 26, 2020
At 4:10 PM today, Union Rail Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted to inform that 50 trains were to leave Maharashtra till 3 PM, but only 13 trains could be run due to lack of passengers. “I request Maharashtra Government to fully cooperate in ensuring that the distressed migrants are able to reach their homes and bring passengers to Stations in time, and not cause further delays. It will affect the entire network and planning”, he said.
Central Railway wrote to the state govt to organise the dispatch of migrants, as huge resources in terms of trains, crew and other Railway staff deployed this this operation will be wasted if the state govt fails to give the required lists and bring the passengers to the designated stations.
The state government had also requested for a large number of trains to West Bengal, which had put a temporary halt on receiving migrants from outside the state due to the cyclone Amphan. Of the 145 trains that the Maharashtra govt had requested, 68 were for UP, 41 for West Bengal, 27 Bihar, 2 each for Odisha and Tamil Nadu, and 1 each for Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Kerala.
West Bengal and Odisha requested not to send trains
As West Bengal and Odisha faced large scale devastation due to the super cyclone Amphan, both the states have requested not to send trains to their states. The entire state machinery in these two states are engaged in rehabilitation efforts after the devastation, and they are unable to spare their resources to quarantine the incoming people. It may be noted that a large number of people returning from states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc have been found coronavirus positive, therefore it will be difficult for these two states to handle more Coronavirus cases due to the cyclone.
Even though West Bengal and Odisha have requested not to send trains to their states for the time being, surprisingly the Maharashtra govt is still requesting trains to these two states. And when Railways arrange the trains as per their request, they are failing to provide the list of passengers, and even failing to transport the passengers to the Railway stations, which has resulted in the cancellation of trains.
Railway minister had exposed Maharashtra govt
The Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra have been claiming that they are not getting adequate trains to send migrants back despite being requested. But on the night of 24 May, Piyush Goyal posted a series of tweets revealing that while the Railways had planed to run 125 trains from the state the next day on 25th May, the state govt was yet to give the list of passengers and their destinations, which are required to prepare detail plan of trains to be run. The Railway minister had asked the govt to submit the list with the Central Railway GM withing one hour, but later he had tweeted that they were yet to receive any list.
Later past the midnight, Goyal had informed that against 125 trains, Maharashtra govt had given a list of only 46 trains. And this also included 5 for West Bengal and Odisha, two states which have requested not to send trains for the time being due to the Cyclone Amphan. As a result, the Railways had notified only 41 trains against 125. Even in these 41 trains, two trains had to be cancelled as the local administration failed to bring passengers to the stations.