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Shramik Specials: railways say ‘sending States’ will have to pay ticket costs

The statement follows severe criticism of the Railways guidelines on the Shramik Special. | File

The statement follows severe criticism of the Railways guidelines on the Shramik Special. | File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

It was up to the States to decide how to fund this cost, states the national transporter.

The railways on Monday said the “sending States” should pay them for transporting migrant workers on Shramik Specials and it was up to them to decide how to fund this cost.

“As per the guidelines issued, the sending State will pay the consolidated fare to Railways. Sending State may decide to bear this cost or take it from passengers or take it from the receiving State after mutual consultation or may charge it to any fund. It is purely their prerogative,” a statement from a railway spokesperson said.

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The statement follows severe criticism of the railways' guideline on the Shramik Specials that says: “Local government authority shall hand over the tickets to passengers cleared by them and collect the ticket fare and hand over the total amount to Railways.”

A Railways official, who did not want to be named, said the railways were charging around 15% of the costs incurred to run the Shramik trains from the State governments. “We are running Shramik Special trains only on request from the State governments. We are charging the States about 15% of the costs incurred to run these trains. The cost includes disinfecting the trains, water bottles, food, masks...and trains are returning empty under lock and key. Almost 85% of the cost is being borne by the railways,” the official stated.

Also read | Migrant workers, other stranded people to pay ₹50 more to get home

Tickets would be issued to the State governments to be handed over to the passengers, the official added.

Another official pointed out that in most trains, including the first Shramik train from Telangana to Jharkhand as well as the one from Rajasthan to Jharkhand, passengers were not charged.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 3:21:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/shramik-special-now-railways-says-sending-states-will-have-to-pay-ticket-costs/article31499523.ece

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