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Never Talked About Charging Migrant Workers Train Fare: Centre Amid Row

Coronavirus: Migrants wait to catch a particular prepare amid the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown

New Delhi:

In an enormous row over particular trains to take migrants to their house states, the federal government stated as we speak that it had by no means talked about charging the employees prepare fare. 85 per cent fare can be borne by railways and the remaining by state governments, stated a high Health Ministry official.

“We have given the permission to run special trains on states’ request. We are dividing the cost in 85-15 per cent (railway: states) as per the norms. We never asked states to charge money from the stranded labourers,” Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal informed reporters.

He was responding to questions following Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s announcement that her occasion would pay the fare for all migrants and needy staff travelling house by these trains.

Sonia Gandhi stated it was “disturbing” that the centre was charging migrants who had been stranded with out meals, shelter or jobs of their hour of disaster.

“When our Government can recognise its responsibility by arranging free air travel for our citizens stranded abroad, when the government can spend nearly Rs 100 crore on transport and food etc. for just one public programme in Gujarat, when the Rail Ministry has the largesse to donate Rs 151 crore to the PM’s corona fund, then why can’t these essential members of our nation’s fabric be given a fraction of the same courtesy, especially free rail travel, at this hour of acute distress,” the Congress chief had stated.

Rattled by the feedback, the federal government as we speak asserted that the railways had been paying 85 per cent of the fare and it was as much as the states to bear the remainder of the price. A authorities round on the particular trains that began working on Friday, nonetheless, was totally different.

“The local government authorities shall handover the tickets to the passengers cleared by them and collect the ticket fare and handover the total amount to the railways,” learn the round accessed by NDTV.

Last week, the central authorities relented and allowed the switch of migrants utilizing buses and trains after 36 days of intense criticism and pushback.

Thousands of migrant staff and others, stranded after Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the lockdown on March 25, had been determined to go house for weeks.

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