NEW DELHI: Indian Railways spent Rs 2,412 crore on running the Shramik Special trains during the coronavirus lockdown but earned revenue of only Rs 429 crore, according to official data. The national transporter ran these trains from May 1 to July 9 to ferry stranded migrant workers to their home states.
According to the railways, over 63 lakh workers were transported to their home states during the period in these trains. The national transporter bore 85 per cent of the expenses while the remaining 15 per cent were borne by the state governments.
The highest amount of Rs 102 crore was paid by the Gujarat government as fare for running 1,027 trains to ferry over 15 lakh migrant workers. Maharashtra was second with Rs 85 crore to transport 12 lakh workers in 844 trains.
Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, considered to be home to majority of migrant workers, paid Rs 8 crore, Rs 64 lakh and Rs 21 crore respectively. The data shows that the national transporter spent an average of Rs 3,400 per passenger on the Shramik Special trains, which amounts to Rs 2,142 crore for around 63 lakh migrant workers ferried.
"The average fare per person on Shramik Special trains is Rs 600. However, we have spent Rs 3,400 per passenger. And by carrying 63 lakh migrant workers home since May 1, we generated a revenue of Rs 429 crore," an official said adding that this was not a business venture and should not be viewed in terms of profit and loss.