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Coronavirus lockdown: It's Delhi vs Bihar on who pays the train fare for migrant workers

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A day after 1,200 migrants returned to Muzaffarpur in Bihar from Delhi, the two states have been at loggerheads over the reimbursement of ticket fares for sending labourers back to Bihar by Shramik special trains.

Bihar Water Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha hit out at the Delhi government for demanding reimbursement from the Bihar government after it paid travel fares for the return of 1,200 migrants stranded in the national capital.

"On one hand, you are taking credit saying you are sending them back on your money and on the other hand, you are asking Bihar government to return the money," ANI quoted Jha as saying.

The matter soon turned into a debate after Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain replied to Jha saying that these migrant workers have been living in shelter homes for approximately two months and that it is unfair to charge any money from them. Jain further added that the Delhi government came forward to pay for the tickets since these workers did not have any source of income.

Jain was, however, not the only leader to clarify the reason for the Delhi government being the first one to make this payment. AAP spokesperson Sanjay Singh took to Twitter to share a Bihar government document that clearly stated that the state government will reimburse the fare paid by migrant workers on their arrival.

Singh further mentioned in his tweet that since the Bihar government and the Centre have asked the migrants to pay the fare, they didn't have the money at hand, hence the Delhi government paid for it.

According to a PTI report, all state governments except Maharashtra have been paying for the railway costs to ferry passengers to their native places.

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