Southern Railway to operate more trains for guest workers

Chennai, Apr 22 (IANS): Southern Railway has decided to operate more trains to the north and north-eastern states to ease the rush of guest workers, who continued to arrive from across Tamil Nadu at its major railway stations -- Chennai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Madurai and Jholarpet -- showing a slow but steady increase in their numbers.

M. Kamalanathan, a Southern Railway official, told IANS: "The guest workers have been reaching all the Tamil Nadu's major railway stations and we cannot keep quiet. The Southern Railway will operate special trains to north and north-eastern states."

Besides, the railways is also planning to clear the rush by adding more coaches to the existing trains.

Railway officials said that this was normal process when the waiting list of reservation charts are full.

With the guest workers booking almost all the classes in trains to the north Indian and north-eastern states, even tatkal tickets are getting booked immediately after the reservation opens.

Babumani Nadar, a booking clerk with Southern Railway said, "Guest workers are standing in overnight queues to book tatkal tickets but once the counter opens at 10 am for AC tickets, the West Bengal bound train tickets gets filled up within 5 minutes of opening the counter.

Same is the case with the second sleeper class tickets which open at 11 am for tatkal."

Mohammed Aslam, a tile worker in Nungambakkam Chennai and a resident of Midnapore in West Bengal said, "I am returning home as I feel its better to be with our loved ones in home town rather than slogging it alone in an alien land."

With the Covid cases mounting in Tamil Nadu and Chennai and other four adjoining districts accounting for more than 50 per cent of these cases , the guest workers are in a mood to leave and the Railway's does not want a major rush leading to a congestion in the stations and hence planning more trains.


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