Government needs to be compassionate to migrants: Priyanka

The railways is only running freight and special parcel trains to ensure supply of essential items during the lockdown.
Priyanka Gandhi

New Delhi, May 7 : The political slugfest over the issue of charging fares from migrant workers who are heading home on special trains continued on Thursday with Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slamming the Uttar Pradesh government and said that the government needs to be compassionate.

In a series of tweets, Priyanka Gandhi, who is also the party in-charge for eastern Uttar Pradesh, said “The labourers were brought from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh. Money was also collected. Those going to Agra and Bareilly were taken to Lucknow and Gorakhpur.”

“Today is Buddha Purnima. The voice of the Buddha was the voice of compassion. There should be compassionate treatment of migrant workers and they should be supported – this should be our effort,” she said.

“It is not enough to repeat the voice of God. The government will have to execute it,” the Congress leader said in another tweet.

Her remarks came amid the political row over the charging of rail fares from the migrant workers travelling from other states to their home states.

The railways, which has suspended the services of passenger, mail and express trains till May 17 amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, has started to run Shramik Special trains since May 1.

However, many migrants alleged that the railways was charging them for their journey. The national transporter had earlier said that according to the guidelines, sending states will pay the consolidated fare to the railways, which they (sending states) can collect from the labourers or from the receiving states.

The railways prints tickets to the specified destinations as per the number of passengers, indicated by the originating state. The city authorities will give the tickets to passengers and hand over the total fare to the railways. Besides sanitisation, there are provisions for meals and packaged water on the trains by the railways.

The railways is only running freight and special parcel trains to ensure supply of essential items during the lockdown.

On Thursday, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country increased to 52,952 with 1,783 deaths. In the last 24 hours, India saw a spike in the number of Covid-19 positive cases as 3,561 tested positive with 89 deaths.

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