Kozhikode: Railway authority informed that no relaxation was given in the train ticket of migrant workers who were taken in the special trains amid lockdown over coronavirus outbreak. Neither the centre nor the state government bore the expenses of train ticket. The migrant workers paid for the tickets.
At present, government representatives collect the money for the train ticket issued by the railways as demanded by the state government. Officials reported that workers who have already left by the special trains were charged full fares.
A press release issued by the railway earlier noted that only 15 per cent of the train fare would be charged for the Shramik trains which operated for migrant workers. It was also informed that ticket counters will remain closed at railway stations. But when this order came into effect, the railway’s action to charge full ticket amount from the passengers triggered a controversy.
Some BJP leaders slammed the state government for collecting the full amount of train ticket from the workers.
Like other states, Kerala also requested the railway to give a free ticket to the passengers. At present, the government only provides food and drinking water free to the migrant workers travelling by the special trains.
Following the allegations, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran responded that the central government did not spend a single penny and the migrant workers paid for the train ticket. Dismissing the allegations against the government, the minister stated that the migrant workers have enough money for their travel and there is no need to degrade their financial status.
A few days back, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot declared that the government will sponsor train tickets to the workers as directed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. At the same time, the Bihar government informed that the ticket money would be refunded if claimed.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel informed that the government will bear the travel expense of the workers. Jharkhand government also informed that the government will pay for the train ticket of the workers. Telangana government has also taken the same stand.