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Maha Minister Laments 'migrants Charged For Train Tickets', Demands Payment From PM CARES

Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut slammed the Centre for charging migrants for the train journey to their native places during the nationwide lockdown

Written By
Akhil Oka
Nitin Raut

Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Sunday slammed the Centre for charging migrants for the train journey to their native places during the nationwide lockdown. Mentioning that the migrants had been charged Rs.505 to travel in the Special Shramik train from Nagpur to Lucknow, he termed this as an "unfair" proposition. Raut stated that he had personally paid Rs.5,00,000 for their train tickets. According to him, it was necessary for the Centre to pay for the tickets of the migrants from the PM CARES fund. Currently, there are 40,263 confirmed novel coronavirus cases out of which 10,887 persons have recovered while 1,306 deaths have been reported. 

Read: Rly SOP For Shramik Special Trains Asking States To Collect Fare For Services Draws Flak

Read: Two ‘Shramik Express’ Trains Bring 2,300 Migrant Workers From Kerala & Gujarat To Odisha

Railways guidelines attract criticism

The Ministry of Railways decided to run Shramik Special trains to transport migrants across the country after the MHA allowed the inter-state movement of stranded persons. On Saturday, it issued detailed guidelines in this regard. Each Shramik Special train will run non-stop and will halt at a single destination more than 500 km away from the originating station. Moreover, the occupancy of the trains must not be less than 90%.

Read: Coronavirus Live Updates: India Case Count Breaches 40,000-mark Ahead Of Lockdown 3.0

The Railways will directly hand over the tickets to the state government which in turn shall pass them on to the approved passengers after collecting the designated fare from them. This clause has drawn criticism from opposition leaders. For instance, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah contended that the Centre has shown double standards by charging the migrant workers while rescuing Indians from abroad for free. Meanwhile, Congress leader DK Shivakumar expressed his party's willingness to provide aid to the Karnataka government for payment of train fare for the migrants. 

Read: Railways Issues Guidelines To Operate Shramik Trains, Clarifies On Tickets Distribution

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