Railways has spent almost Rs 920 crore to stop Covid-19 spread amid huge losses

The Indian Railways has spent Rs 920 crore on Covid-19 related activities, even as it is expected to incur massive revenue losses because of the suspension of passenger trains, ThePrint has learnt.

According to sources, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is set to reimburse the expenditure incurred so far by the Ministry of Railways on Covid-19-related activities, after a decision in this regard is taken by the Union Cabinet.

The railways ministry has already sent a bill of Rs 920 crore to the health ministry, funds for which will come out of the Rs 15,000-crore Covid-19 fund set aside by the central government.

According to the Railway Board, the activities for which the railways are being reimbursed include setting up of isolation wards, conversion of railway coaches into isolation wards and medical units, the operation and management expenses of these converted coaches, sanitisation and cleaning, procurement of additional medicines for Covid-19, PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, other equipment like ventilators, etc.

“While according to the railways, these are the expenses for which it should be reimbursed, the cabinet is yet to take a decision in this regard,” a senior railway official said.

“Zonal railways will give the details of expenditure on these items to the Railway Board, and then the cabinet will decide based on the information provided by the Ministry of Railways,” the official added.

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