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State will bear students’ fare, 500 more for migrants, says CM Nitish

By Anil Kumar, Patna
PUBLISHED ON MAY 04, 2020 10:29 PM IST

Chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar on Monday clarified that students returning to the state by special trains won’t have to pay rail fare while migrant workers will get an additional 500, over and above the reimbursement amount of the expense incurred on the travel, on completion of the mandatory 21-day quarantine period.

In the midst of a raging debate over the footing of train fare that was kicked off by Opposition RJD and Congress and also brought the ruling alliance partners BJP and JD (U) face-to-face, the CM in a video message said that it was imperative on his part to dispel doubts and confusion about the government stand on the issue. “There is no need to worry, neither the students nor the migrant workers will pay for their return to home.”

The RJD and Congress had attacked the state government for failure to provide free passage to migrants and even offered to foot the bill if government acknowledged resource crunch for doing so. State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal also criticised the JD (U)-led NDA government. Following which, JD (U) minister Shrawan Kumar hit back, asking Jaiswal to consult BJP leader and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi before opening his mouth.

Meanwhile, the CM said that people were unnecessarily raking up a non-issue in the times of a crisis. “The government is working with a plan and there is little time to get distracted by unwarranted ‘bayanbazi’ (chit chat),” he said. Appreciating the Centre’s move to provide special trains, he said “I thank the Centre for considering my suggestion. Now that things have been set rolling, there is no need to worry. The students won’t be charged and state government will bear the rail fare paid by inbound migrants to reach heir home state from their respective work places (point of origin).”

“Once these migrant workers or eligible people, arriving from outside the state, complete their 21-day isolation at designated quarantine centres, the expenses incurred for boarding special trains will be reimbursed. Thus, each worker will be getting a minimum of 1,000,” the CM said.

Praised the people for observing the guidelines, he said, “With the exception of a few, majority people have played their part in making the lockdown a success.”

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