New Delhi: A day after the issue of who is paying for the return of the migrants to their home state took the centrestage, the Maharashtra government has sought clarity from the Railways over whether it is bearing 85 per cent of the transport cost of migrant workers heading home amid the lockdown, state Home Minister said on Wednesday. These workers do not have jobs and the Railways should not charge train fare from them, Anil Deshmukh said in a video message. Also Read - Coronavirus in Noida: 27 Fresh Cases Reported in a Day, Total Active Cases Now 209; 4-Year-Old Recovers
The BJP on Monday said the Railways has subsidised 85 per cent of ticket fare for special trains being run to transport migrant workers and the state governments have to pay the remaining 15 per cent. Also Read - COVID-19: Six-fold Jump in Cases, Five-fold Surge in Fatalities After a Month: Is Worst Yet to Come For India?
“On behalf of the Maharashtra government, I am seeking clarity from the Indian Railways whether it is really bearing 85 per cent cost of the train ticket. No official order has been received from the railways so far,” Deshmukh said. Also Read - No Shortage of Beds in Delhi, Clarifies Health Minister; 1,330 Fresh COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hrs, Total Tally Over 26,000
Everybody knows that these migrant labourers have no jobs since last 40 days and they are desperate to return home, he pointed out.
“The railways should do away with charging the ticket cost from the migrant labourers,” he said.
So far, nearly 36,000 migrant labourers have left from Maharashtra for their native places, an official earlier said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said her party’s state units will bear the cost of rail travel of needy migrant labourers stranded at their workplaces due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and seeking to return home.
Rebutting the Congress’ criticism, the BJP said on Monday that the Railways has subsidised 85 per cent of ticket fare for special trains being run for migrant workers and the state governments have to pay the remaining 15 per cent. However, in the guidelines issued by the railways, it was written that the states should collect the fare.
(With PTI Inputs)