Coronavirus: Why Are No Special Trains Running To Tamil Nadu?

If you have read our blog on Coronavirus: India Makes Special Trains For People To Travel and Coronavirus: What Are The Travel Fees For These New Trains?, then you would know how India has been making special trains in order to safely bring back any Indian workers who are stranded in other states or districts. The reason behind this was due to the continuous extension of the Janet Curfew which led migrant workers to carry out protests so that they could return to their home states. Read More to learn about the tedious process of buying a train ticket and how Tamil Nadu has been affected differently?

What’s The Process of Buying A Ticket?

Since May 1st, 3,100,000 migrant workers (31 lakh migrant workers) have been dispatched to their home state by 2,317 special trains. There are 15 special Rajdhani trains running from Delhi on June 12th along with the intention of running 200 trains between major cities on June 1st. Online bookings for these special trains started last Thursday where all passengers will only be allowed to travel by an e-ticket.

The Railway Department has sold 5,72,219 tickets (572,219 tickets) so far where about 12,54,706 passengers (1,254,706 passengers) have booked their tickets till May 21st. All other regular passenger train services, including all express, passenger and suburban train services, will be canceled until further orders. Passengers will be charged a normal fee and tickets can only be booked online through the IRCTC website or mobile app. Passengers won’t be able to get a ticket at the reservation counter or through any agent and they also have to reserve 30 days in advance in order to get their name on the waitlist.

Once passengers receive their e-ticket after being on the waitlist, all passengers will go through a compulsory corona testing. Passengers traveling on special services must wear face shields and should arrive at the station 90 minutes prior. If the specified passenger misses the opportunity to board the train due to any sign of the coronavirus, that passenger will be refunded with certain protocols.

How Has The Special Trains Affected Tamil Nadu?

Just like how we discussed a week ago on Coronavirus: Why Are No Rescue Planes Flying to Tamil Nadu?, Tamil Nadu is facing another situation with the trains where none of the special trains from June 1st will go to Tamil Nadu. Unlike the Vande Bharat Mission, the purpose of this was not to boycott Tamil Nadu. Rather, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy himself sent a letter to the central government that they should not run trains to Tamil Nadu due to spread of the coronavirus.

What About Running Trains After June 1st?

So far, the Tamil Nadu government has only allowed public transport within districts other than Chennai. There is a special travel pass where the state government gives permission to certain people to leave the district. Also, this permission process has been very selective along with the fact that they will be tested and isolated multiple times for the coronavirus. With the permission of the Government of Tamil Nadu to operate these trains, it is expected that the state government will give permission to run special trains to other districts of Tamil Nadu after June 1st.

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