The Railways on Wednesday informed Parliament that there were no complaints about inhuman conditions on board the Shramik Specials, but there were more than 3,000 grievances regarding the catering, cleaning, water and electricity on the trains.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said the complaints were being dealt with by the concerned departments.
"No complaints on inhuman conditions in Shramik Specials were received. However, 3,081 complaints were received on issues like Catering (2,227) and Others (855) including, punctuality, train cleaning & watering, and electricity. Appropriate action was taken by respective Departments to resolve these complaints," he said.
Between May 1 and August 31 this year, the Railways operated 4,621 Shramik Special trains and carried 63.19 lakh stranded people to their respective home states during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown.
The Indian Railways also supplied 1.96 crore meals and 2.19 crore packaged drinking water bottles to passengers of the Shramik Special trains.
Further, about 46.2 lakh meals and water bottles were also provided by State Governments to these passengers at the time of commencement of the Special Trains.
The minister also informed Parliament that 97 deaths had occurred on board these trains and the State Police sent bodies for post mortem in 87 cases.
He said 51 post mortem reports have been obtained from the respective states' police so far, in which the reasons for deaths have been shown as cardiac arrest/heart disease/brain hemorrhage/pre-existing chronic disease/chronic lung disease/chronic liver disease, etc.
In reply to a question on whether any compensation was paid to the families of the victims who died on board the trains, Mr Goyal said compensation is paid by the Railways after the decision of the Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) in response to the compensation claims application filed by the victims or their dependents.
He said presently the maximum amount of compensation is Rs 8 lakh in case of death and Rs 64,000- to Rs 8 lakh in case of injury, depending on the nature and type of injuries sustained.
"No claims for compensation have been filed in any RCT and, as such, no compensation has been paid," Mr Goyal said, referring to the deaths on board the migrant trains.