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781 Shramik special trains leave Maharashtra

24 lakh inter-state migrants have left Maharashtra since the lockdown began on March 25, with over 75 per cent from Mumbai and the extended Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

781 Shramik special trains leave Maharashtra
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According to official estimates, 24 lakh inter-state migrants have left Maharashtra since the nation-wide lockdown began on March 25, with over 75 per cent from Mumbai and the extended Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

The Shramik trains which were launched to ferry the migrant labourers have ferried nearly 11.24 lakh people in 781-odd Shramik Special trains that have operated since May 1. Another 5 lakh workers were dropped to various state borders in state transport buses with approximately 8.5 lakh left in private vehicles to destinations outside the state as well as within.

This number, however, does not include those who walked, drove in autos, taxis, or hitched rides in trucks, tempos and oil and freight containers. As per officials, these unregistered departures could go up to 15 lakh or more. However, since May 27, there has been a decline in the registration of fresh applications at police stations which used to be overburdened before. The number of Shramik Specials leaving from major inter-city stations in Maharashtra has decreased as well, indicating that the reverse migration may have slowed down at the moment.

On Saturday, 20 trains left Maharashtra. The week before, on Friday, 30 trains had left the state. Only 12 trains are expected to leave on Sunday, with the number touted to go down to one or two each day starting next week. A senior official from the Mantralaya asserted that 30,000 workers remain on their registers and they would be ferried in some 20 Shramik Specials over the next one week. The official further added that the workers are largely from West Bengal who shall require around 10 trains.

The demand for Shramik Specials had peaked in the second week of May, with more than 50 trains operating each day between May 20 and May 26, when 74 trains operated on a single day.

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