The Indian Railways on Monday said it had ferried 60 lakh migrant workers home since May 1 through Shramik Special trains but managed to recover only 15 per cent of operational cost.
Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said the average fare per person on Shramik Special trains was Rs 600 and the national transporter had run 4,450 Shramik trains so far. The Railways generated a revenue of around Rs 360 crore.
“The average fare of Shramik Special trains is Rs 600 per passenger. One has to keep in mind that these are normal fares and not fares for special trains which are higher. We carried 60 lakh passengers, so the revenue can be calculated. We however, managed to recover only 15 per cent of cost of operations,” said Yadav.
“A very few of the migrants are now left to be sent back. We are coordinating with state governments to take them home as well,” he added.
PTI quoted officials as saying that the cost of operating a migrant special was between Rs 75-80 lakh. Yadav also reiterated that the cost of operating these trains was being shared by the Centre and the states in a 85-15 per cent formula respectively.
Confirming that over 50 railway coaches have already been deployed in Delhi for Covid-19 patients, Yadav said that his department had written to the states to put forward their requisitions of more isolation coaches.
“Railways would provide separate coaches for suspected and confirmed Covid patients, all of which would be under the care of the chief medical officer of the state,” he said.
Since non-AC coaches are more suitable for isolation purposes, Railways will provide roof insulation in areas where temperatures are too high.
“In areas where the temperature is too high, roof insulation can be provided to bring down the temperature inside the coaches,” Yadav said.
On Sunday, the Railways officials said that 204 isolation coaches had been deployed in four states, including 54 at Delhi’s Shakurbasti Railway station maintenance depot, adding that the number in the capital would be scaled up to 500 in the coming days.
In view of reports of shortage of hospital beds, Amit Shah had on Sunday announced after a review meeting that the Centre will immediately provide 500 converted railway coaches to the Delhi government to house Covid-19 patients.
With over 11,500 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours, the Covid infections in India on Monday rose to 3.32 lakh. The death toll also crossed the 9,500-mark to stand at 9520 deaths.
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