New Delhi, PTI. Nearly four crore senior citizens have been forced to pay full fare for their journeys since the railways suspended their concessions in March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. This information has come to light through an RTI.
In response to a query filed by Chandrashekhar Gaur of Madhya Pradesh, Railways has said that between March 22, 2020 to September 2021, three crore 78 lakh 50 thousand 668 (37,850,668) senior citizens have traveled in trains. During this period, train services remained suspended for several months due to the lockdown. The concessions that have been suspended since March 2020 remain suspended till date.
While women are eligible for 50 per cent concession in case of senior citizens, men can avail 40 per cent relaxation in all categories. The minimum age limit is 58 for a female and 60 years for a male.
Railway concessions have been a hot topic of discussion over the past two decades, with several committees recommending their withdrawal. As a result, in July 2016, the railways made the concession given to elderly people optional while booking tickets. At the same time, in July 2017, the Railways enabled the elderly to give up their partial or full concession through the Give It Up scheme.
Tapas Bhattacharya, a retired private sector employee (senior citizen) said the thing is that the concession given to us was significant and is a huge help to those who cannot afford it. Senior citizens are treated as an extra in many households, with no income of their own. These concessions helped him move around. who have also given up their concessions. With regular train services running, at least senior citizen concessions should be restored. Most of the elderly cannot pay the full rent.
In a letter last month, Madurai MP Su Venkatesan appealed to the Union Railway Minister to restore passenger concessions for his rail travel, saying it is necessary for the elderly in a country where 20 per cent are below the poverty line. live below.