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Railways collected Rs 32 lakh from ticket fares from migrant workers in Ernakulam

The workers have spent, on average, Rs 530 per ticket. Ernakulam district administration officials said it has only charged an amount equal to the unreserved ticket fares from migrant laborers.

Published: 04th May 2020 12:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2020 03:35 PM   |  A+A-

Migrant daily wage laborers

MIgrant workers bid adieu before boarding the special train to Jharkhand (Photo |EPS/TP Sooraj)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Amid deep financial distress due to the lack of work following the Covid-19 lockdown, the migrant workers from Ernakulam alone have shelled out Rs 32 lakh for their journey to Odisha and Bihar after the Railways started operating special trains to ferry the stranded ‘guest workers’ from May 1. A total of 5,592 migrant workers left from Ernakulam in the last three days. 

The workers have spent, on average, Rs 530 per ticket. Ernakulam district administration officials said it has only charged an amount equal to the unreserved ticket fares from migrant laborers. The total money collected was handed over to the Indian Railways. 

The decision to charge the migrant workers leaving for their home states via the special trains followed the recent Railway Board note which said: “The local state government authority shall hand over the tickets to the passengers cleared by them and collect the ticket fare and hand over the amount to the Railways.”

Fort Kochi Sub-Collector Snehil Kumar Singh, who is coordinating the migrants' transportation in Ernakulam, told TNIE: "We have changed the standard unreserved ticket rate based on the distance between the two stations. The state government is not charging any money for transporting them to the stations on the buses. Besides, we are giving them medicines, food items, and drinking water for free." 

Though the normal passenger ticket charge between Aluva and Bhubaneswar will come around Rs 445, the workers paid Rs 530 per ticket as other additional expenses of the travel were also included. Migrant workers said they bore this cost as there was no other choice.

"Many of us haven't worked for the past month. If we missed the chance now, we don't know when we could go to meet our family. So, we paid whatever we had," said a laborer hailing from Kalahandi district of Odisha. According to railway officials, the fares are collected daily. 

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"Each district administration is paying the amount at the respective starting station and this is reported on a daily basis to the headquarters. Under the initiative, the Railways has set a standard rate for the service based on all expenses. Selection of passengers, finalizing destination, and procuring NoCs are managed by the state governments," a railway officer, who requested not to be named, said. 

 Travel expenses (approximate figures)

Destination Ticket fare No. of workers Amount collected
May 1     Aluva to Bhubaneswar (Odisha) Rs 530 1,148 Rs 6,08,440
May 2

Aluva to Khurda Road (Odisha)

Ernakulam to Danapur (Bihar)

Rs 530

Rs 570

1,103

1,140

Rs 5,84,590

Rs 6,49,800

May 3

Ernakulam to Barauni (Bihar)

Ernakulam to Muzaffarpur (Bihar)

Rs 640

Rs 630

1,140

1,061

Rs 7,29,600

Rs 6,68,430 

                                                                  Total ticket expense: Rs 32,40,860


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  • MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA

    That is because liquor kills coronavirus!
    1 year ago reply
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