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Migrants Railway Fare: Anil Deshmukh lashes out at Modi government over its lack of empathy

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that the claim made by the centre that it will pay 85 per cent of the travel cost of migrants is false.

Migrants Railway Fare: Anil Deshmukh lashes out at Modi government over its lack of empathy
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Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday lashed out at the Modi government over it complete lack of empathy for the poor. Deshmukh informed that the home-bound migrant workers and labourers were being charged full fare for their travel. The claim made by the centre that it will pay 85 per cent of the travel cost of migrants is false, he added. 

“Ministry of Railway should come clean on how it is charging full fare from every single migrant labourer travelling back home. All claims that the centre is picking up 85 per cent of the tab are completely false! Such complete lack of empathy for the poor is unheard of,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted on Wednesday. 

In a video message, Deshmukh further said that no official announcement has been made by the Indian Railways in this regard. The railway administration should not charge migrant workers who are travelling back to their home since they have been stranded amid the lockdown with no money and work, he added. 

“The railway ministry has given no discount to home-bound migrants and has not waived off their travel fare. I appeal the railway administration to help the stranded migrant workers to get back to their native states without charging them for tickets,” Deshmukh said. 

As Indian enters the third phase of the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Union Home Ministry started special ‘Shramik’ trains for the stranded migrants to go to their homes but they have been forced to pay for their travels. 

This invited a lot of criticism from the opposition after which Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Luv Agrawal claimed that the centre will pay 85 per cent of the travel cost of the migrants. 

However, no official notification in this regard has been issued yet. The state governments are supposed to pay 15 per cent of the total value of the train fare. With no official announcement by the railway administration, the migrants are still having to pay for their travel. 

On Tuesday, nearly 2,000 migrant workers and labourers boarded three special trains from Kalyan Terminus. Since the Maharashtra government clarified that no trains from Mumbai would leave for the migrant workers as the city has many containment zones, the workers were ferried to Kalyan Terminus to board these special trains. 

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