Many migrant labourers head back home

Good occupancy was witnessed in the Tiruchi – Howrah special train which left from here on Friday.

Many north Indian labourers headed back to their native State amid spike in COVID-19 cases in Tiruchi and elsewhere in the State and in the wake of the restrictions imposed to check the spread of the virus.

Railway officials said there was no overcrowding at the Tiruchi Junction for this bi-weekly inter-State special as the occupancy was well within the capacity of the train which passes via three states before reaching Howrah. All passengers who had boarded from Tiruchi Junction had booked their tickets in advance as only reserved passengers were being allowed to travel. It was ensured at Tiruchi Junction that departing passengers wore masks and their temperature monitored by automatic thermal cameras installed at the station.

The officials said the Tiruchi – Howrah special always had good occupancy being a inter-state train as many labourers from the north and north-eastern states prefer this train to reach different districts in the State and head back home during the pandemic. They said they were keeping a watch on overcrowding if any in stations in Tiruchi Division in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Unlike last year when the Southern Railway operated several Shramik Special trains from Tiruchi Division and from other railway divisions to enable migrant labourers working in different parts of Tamil Nadu to reach their respective native state after viral infection began to spread, the request for operating such special trains to exclusively to take back migrant labourers was yet to come from the State authorities till now, said the officials.

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