Two Shramik Special trains ferrying migrant workers left Mangaluru Junction Railway Station for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on Sunday.
The first train with 1,129 workers left for Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, at 2.20 p.m from Mangaluru Junction. The passengers, who had registered their names on the State government’s Sevasindhu portal, were brought in several buses from Bunder, Bombay Hotel, Kandatpalli, Kudroli, Kankanady and Ullal to the railway station.
They underwent thermal scanning before being allowed to board their coaches. “Social distancing was ensured during boarding and once on board, the passengers adhered to it by keeping the middle berths vacant,” said Southern Railway in a tweet on its official handle, @GMSouthernrailway.
Another special train left with 1,149 workers to Khagariya in Bihar at 6.20 p.m. from Mangaluru Junction. The passengers were brought from Panambur and Jokatte. A total of 23 buses were used for the purpose, said a release from Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B. Rupesh.
Shramik Special train services were launched at Mangaluru Junction on Saturday evening. As many as 1,168 workers travelled on a train bound for Jharkhand. The train comprised 18 sleeper coaches, four general coaches and two luggage-cum-brake van coaches. According to officials, ₹ 960 was collected as fare from each passenger for the journey.
Accusing the district administration of flouting norms in repatriating the workers, Democratic Youth Federation of India State president Muneer Katipalla alleged that not all workers who travelled on the trains were registered with the Sevasindhu portal. Workers were packed onto buses and no proper medical check-up was conducted, he said.
Refuting the allegations, Ms. Rupesh said in the release that all workers were screened and their complete details were taken before they were allowed to board the buses. A district-level officer was made in-charge of each bus and he was assisted by a village accountant and two policemen. The district-level officers were involved in the work since 7 a.m., Ms. Rupesh said.
The Deputy Commissioner in another communique said that those coming to Dakshina Kannada from other States should have Sevasindhu passes and enter through the designated check-posts. All such persons would compulsorily undergo institutional quarantine, she said and added that people illegally entering the district would be dealt with as per law.