West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday took to Twitter to announce that the state government would bear "the entire cost of movement for our migrant workers by special trains from other states to West Bengal."
"No migrant will be charged," Banerjee reiterated, attaching a letter to the Railway Board with her tweet.
In the attached letter addressed to Vinod Kumar Yadav, the Chairman of the Railway Board, Rajiva Sinha, the Chief Secretary of West Bengal confirmed that the state would be bearing the "entire cost of movement by special trains to West Bengal".
"Instructions may accordingly be issued to the concerned Railway officials that no costs may be claimed from those boarding these Shramik Special Trains, destined for West Bengal, at the station of origin," wrote Sinha.
As of midnight on May 15, the Indian Railways has transported more than 14 lakh stranded people back to their home states. According to a PIB press note, the Railways has so far operated 1074 “Shramik Special” trains across the country.
In the last three days, more than two lakh people have been ferried homewards on a daily basis. PIB adds that in the coming days, this number is expected to rise up to three lakh passengers per day.