New Delhi, April 30: Amid demands for special trains to transport stranded people amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the government on Thursday said as of now only buses can be used for movements of migrant workers, students and tourists stranded because of the coronavirus lockdown. "As of now, the directives are to use buses," Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), told a press conference. Migrant Workers' Transportation States Begin Process to Ferry Out Stranded Workers, Here Are Guidelines And Rules Framed by Various State Governments.

The Centre on Wednesday allowed interstate movements of stranded people who wish to go to their home states amid the lockdown. Buses shall be used for transporting groups of people, the MHA has said. However, several states, including Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and some southern states, have asked that special trains be made available to ferry back the migrant labourers stranded in different states due to the lockdown.

Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday tweeted that the Centre must operate special trains to transport migrants labourers from distant places. This demand has been made repeatedly by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Telangana cited the distance and difficult logistics of bus travel, demanding special trains for transportation of migrant workers.

"Over two crore people are stranded in different States amid the lockdown. Central government's guidelines (on their movement) are not appropriate. How can people travel 3 to 4 days in buses in this heat? Train is a better mode of transport than bus," Telangana Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav told ANI.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 30, 2020 05:22 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website