After transporting close to 6 million people so far, Shramik Express trains have seen their demand dwindle to around 30 trains a day on June 3 from 255 trains a day on May 26. The originating states have demanded trains only till June 16.
On the other hand, the much-hyped special trains – including 15 pairs of Rajdhanis and 100 pairs of mail and express trains – are running on low occupancy of 62 per cent and 67 per cent, respectively.
Shramik express trains were started on May 1 to transport stranded migrants in various parts of the country, and till June 4, 4,261 trains were operated, carrying 5.8 million passengers. The Indian Railways has already indicated that it will run trains based on requests coming from various states, though the states have told the railways to run trains till June 16.
On June 3, the railways had written a letter to the states to indicate projected number of trains, and based on that, demand for 171 trains came from states up to June 16.
Majority of these trains are originating from South India – including 66 from Kerala, 26 from Tamil Nadu and 18 from Karnataka. The national transporter has, so far, fully accommodated the requests from all states. The demand for Shramik trains by various states have come down to 32 on June 4. Interestingly, out of the total trains operated so far, 40 per cent were destined to Uttar Pradesh and 36 per cent to Bihar.
On the other hand, occupancy of 15 pairs of special Rajdhani trains declined to 62 per cent during the June 1-June 7 period with around 107,647 passengers travelling during this time. For the 100 pairs of special mail-express trains, the overall occupancy for the period under review was 67 per cent with 1.2 million passengers travelling on them.
According to the railways, the reason for lower occupancy includes restrictions imposed by a few state governments. The special Rajdhani trains were started on May 12, and since then, 561,000 people have travelled in these trains. On special trains that started on June 1, around 1.3 million people have travelled so far.