‘Injustice’: CM Soren on Rs 50 extra charged per migrant on special trains
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren expressed his disappointment with the Railways’ decision to charge Rs 50 per passenger travelling in the special trains being run for migrant workers.
“This is really sad. The central government should reconsider this decision. In this hour of disaster, it is an injustice to the labour colleagues returning back home,” tweeted the CM.
The Indian Railways are running “Shramik specials” to ferry stranded students, migrant workers stuck in various parts of the country due to the coronavirus outbreak and nationwide lockdown in place.
The ticket fare on these trains includes the price of regular sleeper class tickets plus superfast charges of Rs 30 and an additional charge of Rs 20.
“This includes meals and drinking water for long-distance trains. State governments will coordinate and can pay on passengers’ behalf,” the ministry clarified.
The railway ministry said that trains would operate from point-to-point on the request of the concerned state governments. Senior officials would be appointed as nodal officers.
“The passengers have to be screened by the sending states and only those found asymptomatic will be allowed to travel,” the ministry added.
It would also be the responsibility of the sending governments to bring such individuals to the designated stations in sanitised buses, following social distancing norms. All passengers will have to mandatorily wear masks while undertaking the journey.
Five such trains operated on Friday. It was the first time any passenger rail services operated in the country since they were suspended on March 22.
The government emphasised that this was being done on May 1, the Labour Day.
Millions of migrant workers have been struggling after the lockdown was announced, facing a shortage of food and income, and have been seeking to go back home hundreds of kilometres away, including by foot.