With 85:15 ratio, Centre explains to Sonia Gandhi about subsidy for migrant trains
New Delhi, May 04: The Centre has issued a strong rebuttal after Congress president Sonia Gandhi went on the offensive with the manner in which the stranded migrants were being handled.
The railways said that they were charging the state governments just 15 per cent of the calculated train fare for the special trains and it was stated to bear this cost or get the migrant worker to pay.
Sonia Gandhi had earlier asked Congress workers to raise funds to pay the fare on behalf of the migrants. However, railway officials have said that the Centre was only charging the state 15 per cent of the fare. This facility has been made available so that the migrant workers who are stranded due to the lockdown could reach their destination.
On the other hand, the railways is bearing 85 per cent of the cost. In addition to the basic subsidies built into the passenger fare, these trains carry only 60 per cent of the capacity due to social distancing norms. Moreover, the trains also have a team of paramedics and railway security officials to ensure that none get off the train and return midway.
The Centre has been advising states not to encourage migrant workers to travel. It would slow down the economic revival process and the recovery process would also take longer.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had also told the Supreme Court that the migrants can stay where they are. They were being looked after well the MHA had also said.
However, there was too much pressure from the states, following which the travel by bus was allowed. A few days later, the Centre also allowed the travel of migrants by trains.