Operated 1031 shramik special trains to transport around 15 lakhs migrant labourers
Despite Maharashtra and Gujarat being the worst hit states, the Coronavirus Pandemic has brought out several examples of sheer workmanship, dedication and valour to fight the deadly pandemic at the forefront. From the iconic decision of stopping all passenger services to running shramik special trains helping millions to reach their hometowns, Western Railway has displayed impeccable work by continuing to serve the nation by lending its hand through essential services, be it freight traffic or medical facility.
It’s worth mentioning that Western Railway has till now operated more than 1031 shramik special trains to various destinations to transport approximately 15 lakh migrant labourers and their family members to their native states.
According to a special press release issued by WR CPRO, during the challenging time of corona lockdown, WR shows marvelous performance in various fields.
1. Shramik Special Trains: Meeting hearts and families
Starting from 2nd May, 2020 till 25th May, 2020, Western Railway has despatched 1031 Shramik Special trains while following all norms of social distancing. Out of the these, Mumbai Division has run 550 trains & Ahmedabad Division has run 243 trains, while remaining were operated by Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Ratlam divisions of WR.
By running of these Shramik Special trains, more than 15 lakh migrant labours and their families have safely reached their hometowns in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir.
On 25th May, 2020, total 60 trains continued to run as per schedule & thus till now more than 1031 shramik spl trains run by WR has transported about 15 lakh migrant labourers to their native states. Out of 60 trains operated on 25th May, 2020, total 25 trains departed for Uttar Pradesh, 18 for Bihar, 8 for Odisha, 4 for Jharkhand & one each to Kerala, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan ,& Madhya Pradesh.
2. The wheels roll on even in tough times: Parcel Special Trains
From 22nd March to 24th May, 2020, total 4567 rakes of goods trains also have been used to supply essential commodities amounting to 9.22 million tonnes. 9025 freight trains were interchanged with other railways, including 4542 trains handed over and 4483 trains taken over at different interchange points. 267 Millennium Parcel rakes of Parcel Vans / Railway Milk Tankers (RMTs) have been sent to different parts of the country to cope with the demands of essential materials such as milk powder, liquid milk, medical supplies and other general consumer goods.
It’s worth mentioning, that since 23rd March to 24th May 2020, commodities weighing more than 40 thousand tonnes have been transported by Western Rly through its 266 parcel special trains, which included agricultural produce, medicines, fish, milk etc. The earnings generated through this transportation, has been approx Rs 12.22 crore. Under this transportation, thirty two milk special trains were run by Western Rly, with a load of more than 23,500 tonnes and 100% utilization of the wagons, generating revenue of approx Rs 4.04 crore.
Similarly, 230 Covid-19 special parcel trains were also run to transport essential commodities, for which the revenue earned was more than Rs 7.41 crore. In addition to this, 4 indented rakes were also run with 100% utilization for earnings of approximately Rs. 78 lakh. Starting from March 2020 till now, Western Railway recorded total loss of earnings inclusive of suburban & non – suburban sections of Rs. 1016.39 crore on account of lockdown.
Inspite of this, resulting to the cancellation of tickets, Western Railway has ensured to return refund amount of Rs 280.69 crore. It’s worth mentioning that in this refund amount, Mumbai division alone, has ensured refund of Rs 134.78 crore. Till now, 43.07 lakh passengers have cancelled their tickets over entire Western Railway & have received their refund amount accordingly.
3. The Frontline Warriors: Medical Fraternity of Western Railway
In the global war against Coronavirus, the medical fraternity is our true hero of the hour. Jagjivan Ram Hospital (JRH) at Mumbai Central, a 361 bedded tertiary care Hospital of Western Railway has been converted into 172 bedded COVID Hospital and COVID-19 positive are being admitted and treated in this hospital since 5th April, 2020. Till date, a total of 555 Coronavirus patients have been treated .Out of which, a total of 341 cases were positive and 179 patients have been discharged after cure. Another 150 suspected cases were also discharged after treatment.
Patients are admitted from triage area with proper history and counseling for both patients and relatives. The team at JRH have also taken special measure for indoor patients and staff working in the isolation wards to lift their spirits in this scary time. Western Railway salutes the dedication and hardwork of its Coronavirus Warriors.
4. Railway Protection Force: The true protectors of the Railways
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Western Railway have shown exceptional work during the Coronavirus Lockdown. RPF has distributed lakhs and lakhs of food packets to the needy and poor. The Special Parcel trains carrying essential commodities have been escorted by the RPF. RPF posts/OPs are being sanitized everyday whereas barracks are being sanitized twice in a week.
Besides, sprinklers along with disinfectants have been procured and provided at posts/barracks which are being utilized by staff for sanitizing if need arises. The RPF has played an instrumental role in procuring and distributing adequate number of PPEs, masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, liquid soap etc. among staff. Every GO has been assigned 2/3 barracks which he/she is visiting twice in a week to check cleanliness as well as status of food preparation in mess. Supplies/availability of liquid soap, masks, gloves, sanitizer are also checked during such visits. Interaction with and Sensitization of staff is also being done during such visits to keep their moral high.
The RPF have paid keen attention to the staff above the age of 50 yrs or with chronic ailments have been identified and are preferably not being deployed on duties like screening of Rly staff at stations/offices, yard patrolling, train escorting. Since JRH has been taken over by the State Govt. for treating COVID positive patients, necessary PPEs have been arranged and Separate accommodation /mess facilities have also been arranged for the staff performing duties at JRH as a precautionary measure with a view to segregate them from other RPF staff. They are providing effective support to railway paramedics working there.
5. The big contribution of Western Rly’s workshops
Considering the increasing number of Coronavirus Pandemic cases in India it has given impetus to fulfill the growing need of PPE kits & other materials for the frontline warriors, the medical fraternity in order to fight the battle against the deadly Coronavirus Pandemic. The Materials Management Department of Western Railway teamed up with the Medical Department to kick off the race against time with a dedicated team of HQ, District and Divisional Officers for providing essentials for Doctors, Paramedics and patients to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
This perfect materials management by Western Rly has produced excellent results to ensure better management of all efforts against the global pandemic corona, in the form of not only PPEs, but also a large quantity of Steel Beds for Isolation wards, Invasive and Non-Invasive Ventilators, Non- Contact Thermal Body Temperature Measuring Guns, Oxygen Cylinders, Sanitizers, N-95 Face Masks, Face Shields, Inner Gowns , Disinfectant Spraying Pumps , Sodium Hypochlorite Solutions as well as 410 isolation coaches. Till now more than 4000 PPEs have been prepared by WR’s workshops at Lower Parel & Mahalaxmi.
6. No stomach goes hungry even during tough times
Western Rly and IRCTC joined their hands in a unique joint Mission Food Distribution with full spirit of service & dedication towards the Nation. This unique and social service initiative started on 29th March, 2020 in all 6 divisions of Western Rly, successfully completed its 50 days on 17th May, 2020.
During this Mission Food Distribution, more than 5.63 lakh needy & helpless persons have got benefitted over WR, as they received free meals & food packets under this joint mission to cope up with their hunger needs. Distribution of food is being done with the help of RPF, GRP, and commercial department of Western Rly along with teams of State Governments, District administrations and NGOs, in the areas surrounding various railway stations. Proper social distancing and hygiene aspects are being observed minutely by all concerned persons during food distribution.