Biggest annual human migration starts in China

Last Updated 03 May 2018, 05:33 IST

The festival rush began today with an expected 2.56 billion passenger trips in the coming 40 days, official media here reported. The rush is mainly generated by China's famed migrant labour, roughly numbering about 215 million who en masse set off every year for holiday to be with their families in the villages for about a month.

Though the week long festival starts early next month, the holiday travel formally started from today testing the months of preparations of various transport networks in China.
Chinese official holidays starts from February 2.

More Airlines, trains and bus services were being added to cope with the passenger surge, which is 11.6 per cent up year on year, Chinese Ministry of Transport said.
This year China is experimenting with its high speed rail network which had dramatically cut down travel timings between the cities.

Except for the temporary trains, more high-speed trains have been put into operation for the Spring Festival. The high-speed train will be increased to 88 pairs this year, 55 more than last year's 33 pairs in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, which largely eased the difficulties of buying tickets for passengers.

The airport in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, announced Tuesday it would add another 252 flights for the travel peak period. The capacity of airlines in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will be raised 30 per cent.

In China's southwestern Chongqing Municipality, a major hometown to migrant workers, 12 flights with 5,100 seats will be added between Chongqing and Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province. Adding to the woes was the snow and sleet that has struck five provincial level regions, including Hunan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Guizhou and Yunnan disrupting transportation networks.

The Ministry of Public Security Tuesday ordered police in the five hard-hit areas to go all out to keep traffic flowing and make sure no expressways were shut down due to slippery roads, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Snow and ice will bring great difficulties to transportation," said Weng Mengyong, vice minister of the Ministry of Transport (MOT). In early 2008, freezing weather across southern China caused power cuts and transportation chaos, preventing many residents from going home for family reunions during China's lunar new year.

(Published 19 January 2011, 11:03 IST)

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