Headlines May 5, 2020
Centre clears controversy over migrants’ railway fares
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced for a nationwide lockdown on 24 March to control spread of COVID-19. Ever since then, migrant labourers, who were working in different parts of the country, have been wanting to return back to their homes. In cities like Delhi and Mumbai, many migrant workers protested on the roads requesting government to make arrangements for their return back home. Earlier last week, the central government allotted special trains to many states for return of the workers which had led to controversies because the workers were charged train fare. The government has now cleared the air saying that they never asked migrant labourers to be charged train fares.
The government said that 85 percent of the fare will be borne by Indian railways. Meanwhile, the rest will be taken by concerned state governments. Luv Agarwal, Joint secretary of the health ministry said that no state has been asked to charge money from labourers.
Many leaders, especially from opposition parties, had criticised the central government for charging train fare from migrant labourers. Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday said that her party will bear the train fare of all migrant workers who wants to return back home. She said that the insensitivity of central government is deeply disturbing.
Special trains from different parts of the country are now running in order to bring back migrant workers to their homes during the Coronavirus times. Thousands of them have been transported back home already.
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