[splco_heading size=”15″ align=”left” margin=”30″]Following pressure from state governments on millions of migrant workers stranded on each states , centre bowed and then railways has decided to run the Shramik Special trains to transport the students, labourers, pilgrims and tourists across the country.[/splco_heading]
The first Shramik Special train with 1,200 passengers started on May 1 from Telangana to Jharkhand almost 40 days after the passenger, mail and express trains services were suspended.
Since then railways has operated over 25 such trains on the request of the state governments. But the fare collected that irked the opposition parties in india
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has been pushed to the fringe in his policy on migrant workers from Bihar stranded in other parts of the country, today announced that each worker returning home by train will be reimbursed the full ticket fare and will get an additional aid of Rs 500 to ensure they are not out of pocket for their journey home.
“We took the decision to ensure free journey back home for our students and now, a similar facility is being extended to migrants labourers too,” said Mr Kumar.
The Bihar leader’s intervention comes after he has been accused not just by the opposition but by top leaders of his ally, the BJP – of a heartless approach.
In recent weeks, as other states petitioned the centre to repatriate their workers, Mr Kumar urged they remain where they are; they aren’t sufficient facilities, he argued, to ensure the workers are isolated for 14 days, as required, upon their return.
While his counterparts from states like Uttar Pradesh organised buses to bring back students and workers from other cities, Mr Kumar held out for trains that would be facilitated by the union government.
Mr Kumar’s revised stand came hours after Tejashwi Yadav, the 30-year-old leader of Bihar’s main opposition party, offered to pay for all the passengers of 50 trains.
BJP Senior Leader and MP Criticised his ruling party over migrant workers fare collection issue
The principal opposition leader SoniaGandhi , Congress issued a statement to this effect made the center to tilt its hand
In her statement Sonia Gandhi released she said :
Our workers and labourers form the backbone of our economy. Their hard work and sacrifice are the foundation of our nation.
As the Central Government barely gave a four-hour notice of the lockdown, workers and migrant labourers were denied the opportunity to return to their homes.
Post the partition of 1947, this is the first time India witnessed a tragedy with such a massive human cost as thousands of migrant workers and labourers were forced to walk home several hundred kilometres on foot- without food, without medicines, without money, without transportation, without anything except for the desire to return to their families and loved ones.
The very thought of their plight is enough to break our hearts as there was also the outpouring of support from fellow Indians for their inspiring resolve.
But what is the responsibility of our Government? Even today, lakhs of workers and migrant labourers are languishing in different parts of the country and wish to return to their homes and families but there is neither adequate money nor provision for free transport.
What is particularly disturbing is that the Central Government and the Rail Ministry are charging them for train tickets in this hour of crisis.
Our workers and labourers are the ambassadors of our nation’s growth.
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?
The Indian National Congress has been raising this issue from the outset of the lockdown. There needs to be provisions for the safe and free rail travel of migrant workers and labourers to their home-towns.
However, despite our repeated demands, the Central Government and the Rail Ministry have chosen to completely ignore the same.
The Indian National Congress has, therefore, taken a decision that every Pradesh Congress Committee shall bear the cost for the rail travel of every needy worker and migrant labourer and shall take necessary steps in this regard.
This will be the Indian National Congress’ humble contribution in service of our compatriots and to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them.
In a tweet, after Sonia Gandhi Statement , Rahu Gandhi said, “On one hand railways is charging for the tickets of the stranded labourers and workers in different states while on the other hand it contributed ₹151 crore to the PMCARES fund. Solve this puzzle.”
Post Critics BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra today said the railways has subsidised 85 per cent of ticket fare for special trains being run to transport migrant workers and the state government has to pay the remaining 15 per cent, soon after the Congress attacked the central government over the issue.
[splco_quote]The state government concerned can also pay for the tickets BJP Spokesperson added . But with state governments who are not opened up their mouth yet and even when Center Government under which Railways ruction and its minister Piyush is stoic and no official communication has come from his department till now . [/splco_quote]
Just BJP spokes person statement what is means ..Political critics say it is part of damage control where ruling establishments often search for keys of the lock .. at a time when they very well known it is doorless house.