It has been two days since the Class 8-12 and college students were allowed to go physically to their educational institutions. However, the rail passenger associations have already been getting complaints from parents of these children over unavailability of local trains for youngsters below 18-years-old.
At present, vaccination isn't available for those below 18-year-old. And so the railways are not issuing monthly season tickets (MSTs) to them. According to the railway passenger associations, this is gravely affecting the students even though there are certain percent of them who want to go to their schools, especially colleges; however, they cannot.
"We are already getting complaints from parents about train passes not being available for their children. The government, it seems, hasn't thought of this while opening up the schools and colleges for the students in Class 8-12. The state government and railways should do something about this,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad.
"This is certainly a problem that the government should address. We are demanding that daily tickets be issued to these students as it is not that they would attend colleges on a daily basis considering the situation now where lockdown is slowly easing,” said Aniket Gamandi, member, Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee.
At present, both Central and Western Railway are catering to over 30-35 lakh passengers on a daily basis who are fully vaccinated, those on emergency duties and are following government protocols mandated for train travel. The rail authorities claim that they are following state government norms plus the fact remains that vaccines are not out for youngsters less than 18-year-old and so there arises no question of issuing rail passes.