Kolkata, May 26: In one of the first decisions taken, the new Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, May 26 announced a special monthly pass for the poor, enabling them to travel 100 km for just Rs 20. Those earning below Rs 500 per month can avail of this facility.
Indian Railways would also extend full cooperation and assistance to all passengers stranded across various railway stations in North India due to the unrest in Punjab.
Banerjee assured harried passengers that as soon as the security clearance came through, Railways would make arrangements to reach each one of them to their scheduled destination.
Banerjee said passengers who had gone to Amarnath and stranded in Jammu would be taken care of as well as passengers stranded at stations like Saharanpur, Jalandhar etc. She said those stranded at Delhi were assisted to reach their respective destinations yesterday and others in different places too would be helped as soon as CRPF gave the security clearance.
She admitted that there was some problem related to supply of food to the passengers. She thanked the Gurudwaras which had come forward to offer food to stranded passengers. She said the food problem had arisen due to the curfew in different places in Punjab leading to all shops being closed. Ms Banerjee assured that the food problem too would be sorted out soon.
Expressing condolences to the families of those killed in Cyclone Aila in West Bengal, Banerjee asked all present at the media conference to observe a minute's silence in their memory. Ms Banerjee is scheduled to take a special train to Kakdwip, one of the worst Cyclone hit areas, to meet the victims and offer assistance.
She also briefly spoke on what to expect from the new railway budget.