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Indian Railways refutes report of doing away with concessions for senior citizens, students

"All concessions were withdrawn due to COVID-19, except some students and some with certain health conditions. The only motive was and is to discourage people from unnecessary travel. These restrictions are under constant review and will be thoroughly reviewed as trains services are restored to normal," a Railway spokesperson told Moneycontrol.

October 12, 2020 / 06:06 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Although it is under the cosh due to its financial state, Railways has denied that it is looking at removing concessions in 38 categories, including senior citizens, students, reputed sportspersons, armed forces and national award winners.

A report in a vernacular newspaper had said the national transporter was looking at removing these concessions to shore up its revenues and improve its operating ratio.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Railways in March withdrew concessions for several categories of passengers in its bid to dissuade people from undertaking unnecessary travel.

"The report is absolutely far from the facts and grossly twisted.  All concessions were withdrawn due to COVID-19, except some students and some with certain health conditions. The only motive was and is to discourage people from unnecessary travel. These restrictions are under constant review and will be thoroughly reviewed as trains services are restored to normal," a Railway spokesperson told Moneycontrol.

He also added that as far as MLAs/ MPs are concerned, no concession is given by Railways to them.

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"Their travel is taken care by concerned legislative body they have been elected to. Parliament or state Assemblies duly pay to Railways," he said.

The Railways gives concessions to 53 categories of passengers and it ranges from 10 to 100 percent. The categories included Divyangjan (differently-abled persons), 11 categories of patients, youths, kisans, artists, sportspersons, medical professionals, senior citizens, awardees, war widows, students and press correspondents.

With COVID-19 upending the passenger services of Railways, its strained financial state is unlikely to get a fillip anytime soon although freight activities have witnessed a robust growth.
Soumalya Santikari Having started off as a sports scribe, I made the sobering transition to business journalism in 2014. Always up for belling the cat.
first published: Oct 12, 2020 06:06 pm

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