Special train from Chennai to Ranchi leaves with 1136 passengers!
The Indian Government imposed a nation-wide lockdown from March 25th, to control the spread of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic. It has since been extended twice and we are in the third phase of the lockdown, which is expected to go on till May 17th. However, the suddenness of this lockdown caused a number of people to be left stranded in other places with no means of transport to return home, mostly migrant workers, students and tourists! Many people were stranded without work, livelihood, places to stay and even the basic essentials. After repeated appeals and studies on the situation, the Government recently issued orders to help such stranded people return home and the Ministry of Railways was pressed into action with the source and destination State Governments coordinating to help these stranded people return home!
Today, the first such train has left from Tamil Nadu, after 40 days of lockdown! This train has started from Katpadi, in the Vellore district and will be travelling to Ranchi. There are 1136 passengers on board this train and most of them are patients who came for treatment to the Christian Medical College in Vellore and their attendants! They were brought to the Katpadi station in 16 buses and boarded this special train from here. This whole operation was kept under wraps to prevent it from being crowded by other migrant workers. This was made possible by the cooperation between the Tamil Nadu and Jharkand governments. The train ticket fare of Rs. 695 is being borne by the State Government and the Vellore District Administration also provided all the passengers with food and water bottles with the IRCTC making arrangements for further food, along the way. Though each coach in the train has a capacity to carry 108 passengers, only 54 passengers were boarded onto them. The train was brought to Katpadi from Chennai, after thorough sanitisation and was again sanitised at Katpadi.
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