Chaos broke out at the Asansol railway station in West Bengal this morning when a shramik special train from Bangalore made a technical halt there and passengers hopped off, complaining of no food, dirty toilets and because the train was headed for north Bengal while half the 1,500 odd passengers needed to go home in south Bengal.
From the train's destination in New Jalpaiguri, Kolkata and many South Bengal towns and villages are about 600 km away and a 12-15 hour bus journey.
At Asansol, the passengers got off and almost left the station without thermal screenimg or any health check-ups. Finally 24 passengers were persuaded to return to the train as there were no buses lined up to take them home from the station.
The train made what appears to be an unscheduled stop at Durgapur next because of passenger agitation. 57 passengers got off there.
The train will stop at Malda before finally coming to a halt at New Jalpaiguri.
This is the seventh Shramik train to Bengal. Some officials were trying to press for better management of migrants on the trains and match them with their destinations. But clearly that has not happened.
The Railways has run 800 "shramik" special trains since May. These trains have carried around 10 lakh migrants and others stranded amid the coronavirus lockdown back to their home states.