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Home ministry issues SOP to facilitate travel of migrant labourers in special trains

Home ministry issues SOP to facilitate travel of migrant labourers in special trains

Home ministry issues SOP to facilitate travel of migrant labourers in special trains
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By CNBC-TV18 May 19, 2020 12:46:41 PM IST (Updated)

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding the movement of migrant labourers as they attempt to reach their homes from across the country in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus-forced nationwide lockdown.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding the movement of migrant labourers as they attempt to reach their homes from across the country in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus-forced nationwide lockdown.

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The seven-point SOP includes allowing the Indian Railways to operate the Shramik Special trains, in consultation with the home ministry. All states and union territories have been directed to “designate nodal authorities and make necessary arrangements for receiving and sending such stranded persons.”
Further, the home ministry has directed the Ministry of Railways to schedule, devise protocols regarding entry and movement of passengers, services to be provided in train coaches, and arrangements for booking tickets with the states and union territories.
It has asked the Ministry of Railways and the state and union territories to compulsorily screen and only allow asymptomatic passengers to board the trains. The passengers have to observe social distancing protocols.
The passengers will have to follow the guidelines in their destination states and union territories.
Lockdown in India began on March 25 and has been subsequently extended thrice. The fourth phase of the lockdown began on May 18 and remains in effect until May 31. However, some states have allowed relaxation in the latest phase of the lockdown.
The strict prohibition in movement that has characterised the lockdowns in India have created a huge migrant crisis with labourers working in distant states struggling to reach their homes in the absence of transport facilities.
The coronavirus case tally has crossed the 1 lakh mark in India. The death toll in the country stands upwards of 3,000.
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