Migrant workers across Indian took a breath of relief when the government, after months, finally allowed them to ferry back home on special trains arranged by the government itself.
However, a lot of criticism came in towards the government’s way when the news of it charging train fare from the migrant workers to let them travel in the special trains broke out.
The orders were to charge Rs. 50 in addition to the normal travel fare. I don’t know what the government was thinking while adding such a bizarre thing in the order when they are fully aware of the situation of the migrant workers right now.
Various political parties soon joined in to ask the government not to charge migrant workers for the train journey. Congress, slamming the Centre, said that it will pay migrants’ travel fare.
“When our Government can recognise its responsibility by arranging free air travel for our citizens stranded abroad, when the government can spend nearly Rs. 100 crores on transport and food etc. for just one public programme in Gujarat, when the Rail Ministry has the largesse to donate Rs. 151 Crores to the PM’s Corona fund, then why can’t these essential members of our nation’s fabric be given a fraction of the same courtesy, especially free rail travel, at this hour of acute distress,” Sonia Gandhi wrote in her statement this morning.
However, issuing a clarification to the same, Rajya Sabha Member Subramanian Swamy in a tweet said that he had talked to Rail Minsiter Piyush Goyal and he has said that the order was that the governments will pay for the travel of the migrants and not migrants themselves.
He said that the Center will pay 85% of the cost while the state will bear the remaining 15%. An official announcement by rail minister Piyush Goyal will be released soon.
The actual order was actually miss read by many people. The order said the state government will have to hand over the amount and not the migrants. Sambit Patra also lashed out the opposition for spreading false agenda.