The Centre on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that there were no complaints about migrant workers facing “inhuman conditions” on board the Shramik Special trains, but added that there were more than 3,000 grievances related to basic amenities such as food and water, sanitation, hygiene, and electricity on trains, PTI reported.
In a written reply in the Upper House, Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said the complaints were being dealt with by the concerned departments.
“No complaints on inhuman conditions in Shramik Specials were received,” the minister said in his response. “However, 3,081 complaints were received on issues like Catering (2,227) and Others (855) including, punctuality, train cleaning & watering, and electricity. Appropriate action was taken by respective Departments to resolve these complaints.”
When the lockdown was suddenly enforced in March, migrant workers were forced to return to their homes on foot, causing a public outcry. It was only later that the Centre launched over 300 “Shramik special” trains. But because of the convoluted procedure to register for these trains, thousands of workers continued to take to the roads to walk, cycle or attempt dangerous journeys in trucks back home.