The Indian Railways on Sunday issued guidelines on the operation of 'Shramik special trains', which are being run to transport migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and others back to their native states. Essentially the service is reaching out to those stranded at different places in the country due to lockdown.
At present, labourers are being charged sleeper class fares and an additional Rs 50 for a pre-decided source to destination journey.
Now the issue that has cropped up in politicals is why they should be made to pay for the tickets during these extraordinary times?
The Congress on Monday said its state units would bear the cost of rail travel of needy migrant workers who were longing to head back home after bieng stranded at their workplaces due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Rahul Gandhi said that the Railways was charging migrants for rail tickets on the one hand, and on the other, it was donating money to the PM CARES Fund.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Railway Board chairman has stated that the money was charged to not overcrowd the trains.
An estimate indicates that the total fare for a Shramik Special running an average 2,000 km would cost a little under Rs 10 lakh.
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