Ninty-seven people lost their lives while travelling in the Shramik Special trains, that were run to ferry the stranded migrant workers to their home state during the COVID-19 lockdown, the government told the Parliament on Wednesday, September 16.
"Based on the data provided by the State police, 97 persons were reported to have passed away till September 9, 2020, while travelling onboard Shramik Special trains during COVID-19," Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
Adding that the state police had sent the bodies for post-mortem in 87 cases.
"51 post-mortem reports have been received from respective State police so far, in which reasons for deaths have been shown as cardiac arrest/heart disease/brain haemorrhage/pre-existing chronic disease/chronic lung disease/chronic liver disease etc," he said.
The statement on the number of deaths in the Shramik Special has come two days after the government had told Parliament that it did not have any data on the workers who had lost their jobs and lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Answering a separate query on the fare of these trains, Goyal said, "Fare of ₹433 crore has been collected from the State governments and from the representatives of the State governments for running them from 01.05.2020 to 31.08.2020."
He also said the national transporter recovered only a small fraction of expenditure from the people thereby incurred a loss. For Shramik Special trains the railways made special arrangements including enhanced sanitisation, security, medical arrangement, free meals and water which added to the overall cost of running them.