New Delhi, May 19, 2020: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued a revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the movement of stranded workers by trains during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
The Home Ministry has directed states and Union Territories to designate nodal authorities and make necessary arrangements for receiving and sending such stranded persons.
"Movement of Shramik special trains shall be permitted by the Ministry of Railways (MoR), in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)," the Ministry said in the letter.
The Ministry said the train schedule including stoppages and destination shall be finalised by the Railways Ministry based on the requirements of States/ UTs and shall be communicated by MoR to the States/ UTs for making suitable arrangements for sending and receiving such stranded workers.
"Train schedule; protocols for entry and movement of passengers; services to be provided in coaches; and arrangements with States/ UTs for booking of tickets shall be publicised by the Ministry of Railways," it added.
The Ministry also directed officials to mandatorily conduct screening of passengers before boarding the trains.
"Sending States/ UTs and MoR shall ensure that all passengers shall be compulsorily screened, and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the train," the Ministry said.
In addition to that, all passengers will have to observe social distancing during boarding and travel.
On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination State/ UT.