Migrant workers who want to travel back to their home states in special trains will have to pay the requisite fare, Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said on Tuesday.
The only exception is being made for migrants from Madhya Pradesh as that government had informed Pun authorities that it will bear their travel expenses, he said.
"The process of receiving applications from migrant workers stuck in Pune and sending them to their respective states for their approval has already been started. It's bit time consuming but we have expedited the process by appointing dedicated nodal officers," Mhaisekar said in a press conference.
When asked about the fare bill of migrant workers, he clarified that, as on today, migrant workers who want to go back to their home states will have to pay the requisite fare.
"The only exception to this rule is Madhya Pradesh government which has communicated to us that they will bear the expenses of migrant workers from their state who are stuck here," he said.
Mhaisekar said some states have been asking us to conduct COVID-19 tests on migrant workers before repatriating them, which is an impossible task.
He also said that some states also told authorities that workers will have to pay their own fare.
Mhaisekar said some NGOs, employers and political parties have come forward and showed a willingness to bear the fare expenses of the workers, for which the district administration has no objection.
As far as the Railways' decision about charging of the fare is concerned, it will come in the next two to three days, he said responding to a query.
"As per the Railways, if there is a group of 1,200 people, they can arrange a special train which will not stop between its originating station and end destination," he said.
Speaking about mandatory medical certificates needed for inter-state travel, Mhaisekar said they can be obtained from any registered medical practitioner, be it a BAMS or MBBS.