The railways on Monday said there is no pendency in payment of fares from state governments for the Shramik Special train services run by the national transporter to ferry migrant workers home.
Since May 1, the railways has run 4,436 Shramik Special trains and transported more than 62 lakh migrant workers to their home states.
“As of now there is no pendency in payment by any state for the Shramik Special services. However, we cannot give you a consolidated amount of money they paid as the services are still running.
“Currently we have a demand for 15 trains. We have also written to the states to give their balance demand. We will run these services as long as they are needed,” P S Mishra, Member Traffic, Railway Board said at an online press briefing.
Last week, the railways had said that the average fare per person on Shramik Special trains was Rs 600 and indicated that by carrying 60 lakh migrant workers home since May 1, it has generated a revenue of around Rs 360 crore.
It also said that the railways spent Rs 3,400 per Shramik Special train passenger and incurred a total loss of around Rs 2,040 crore in running these trains.
The cost of operating such trains is being shared by the Centre and the states in a 85-15 per cent formula respectively.
The running of Shramik Special trains had kicked up a storm after political parties alleged that the national transporter was charging migrants for the journey.
Mishra also said that while the railways’ freight loading suffered during the lockdown period, it was already showing signs of recovery.
He said there was a dip in freight loading by 57.95 MT (28 per cent) during the period April-May 2020. In June, loading increased to 64.52 MT which was a dip of around 8.31 per cent than in June last year.
During the lockdown phase (between April and May), the railways achieved 70 per cent of last year's freight loading and also maintained the supply of essentials with foodgrains loading being 94 per cent more than last year, he said.
The official added that during the opening up phase in June, there was a revival in freight loading with the railways achieving 90 per cent of last year’s loadings during the same month. These included steel, cement, foodgrains and fertilizers.