GUWAHATI, June 8 - The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has so far provided more than 5.1 lakh free meals to passengers of Shramik Special trains.
�Once the Shramik Special trains arrive in the jurisdiction of NFR for onward journey towards various locations in the northeastern states, it is ensured that all the passengers get sufficient food and drinking water for the further journey period. From May 7 to June 5, a total of 5,10,778 meals were provided to passengers of various Shramik Special trains at various locations,� said Subhanan Chanda, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NFR.
�More than 17,000 meals were provided daily to passengers in the NFR area. The number of meals provided in a particular train depends on the number of passengers and the route and journey time of the train. It has been found that on an average about 1,168 meals were provided to each of the Shramik Special trains each time,� Chanda said.
He claimed that the food is prepared �hygienically� and meals generally consist of vegetable biryani, laddu, kachori, bread, banana, biscuit, bhujiya packets, tea and milk (for children).
�In addition to the meals, more than 4,92,502 bottles of mineral water were also provided to passengers during the journey. On an average 1,127 bottles of mineral water were provided on each train,� said the CPRO.
He said meals are supplied at stations where �there is feasibility for the same� and adequate manpower for distribution as well as monitoring is also available.
�All protocols for COVID-19 are followed while distributing such meal among passengers. In the NFR area, meals are provided in stations like Guwahati, Lumding, Badarpur, Mariani, Tinsukia, New Bongaigaon, Katihar, New Jalpaiguri, New Cooch Behar and New Alipurduar. Apart from providing meals, watering of the train along with the cleaning of toilets is also being ensured at regular intervals so that passengers travelling on these trains do not face any hardship. Regular disinfection of the trains is also done at all locations where de-boarding is allowed,� said Chanda.
The Shramik Special trains, which started operations from various locations of the country from May 1, are being run as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) at the request of respective state governments. Only persons enlisted by the state governments and brought to the station can travel on the Shramik Special trains.
More than 85 Shramik Special trains have so far arrived in various northeastern states with more than 1,30,000 people, who were stranded in other parts of the country. Passengers of the Shramik Special trains mainly comprise students, patients and migrant labourers with their families.