Railmen's plea not to play petty politics

Railmen's plea not to play petty politics

Agency News

The All India Railwaymen's Federation on Thursday appealed to the Congress president,Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, to refrain from indulging in 'petty politics' over the fare of Shramik Special trains and said the Railways charged money to prevent overcrowding at stations.

In a letter to Mrs. Gandhi, the Railways' largest union of workers said travelling during the coronavirus pandemic is dangerous but railway staffers are making it possible through their hard work.

'I request not to destabilise a good system which is enabling migrants to return home in 115 special trains because of petty momentary political gains,' the AIRF general secretary, Mr. Shiv Gopal Mishra, said in the letter to the Congress president. Overcrowding at railway stations could lead to the spread of coronavirus, he said.

The Railways started running Shramik Special trains from May 1 to ferry home migrant labourers stranded in different parts of the country. Opposition parties have accused the government of charging money from the labourers.

However, the government has said 85 per cent of the fare is being borne by the Railways and the remaining is borne by the state government on whose request a train is being run. As of Wednesday, the Railways said it has ferried home over 1.35 lakh workers in 140 Special trains.