Maharashtra Seeks Clarity From Railways On Migrant Train Fares

MUMBAI: The government has asked the railways for clarity on whether it is paying 85 percent of the cost of transportation for migrant workers heading home in the middle of the shutdown, the state's interior minister said on Wednesday.

These workers are out of work and the railroads should not charge them the train fee, he said in a video message.

The BJP said Monday that the railways have subsidized 85 percent of the fare for tickets for special trains that run to transport migrant workers and that state governments have to pay the remaining 15 percent.

On behalf of the Maharashtra government, I am seeking clarity from the Indian railways if it really does cost 85 percent of the train ticket. So far, no official order has been received from the railways, Deshmukh said.

Everyone knows that these migrant workers have been out of work for the past 40 days and are desperate to return home, he said.

Railroads should eliminate the cost of migrant workers' tickets, he said.

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So far, almost 36,000 migrant workers have left Maharashtra for their places of origin, an official previously said.

President of the Congress Sonia gandhi He said Monday that his party's state units will bear the cost of the train journey for needy migrant workers stranded at their workplaces due to the coronavirus-induced confinement and looking to return home.

It also accused the central government and railroads of completely ignoring demands made by Congress to ensure the free and safe travel of migrant workers to their homes.

Refuting criticism from Congress, the BJP said Monday that the railroads have subsidized 85 percent of the ticket fare for special trains for migrant workers and state governments have to pay the remaining 15 percent.