Demanding compensation on a par with frontline workers, the largest union of the Railways said that railwaymen losing their lives while working during the coronavirus crisis deserved Rs 50 lakh as compensation.

In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, general secretary of the All India Railwaymen's Federation Shiva Gopal Mishra said around 1,500 railway staffers died during the pandemic while more than one lakh have been infected by the virus.

He said that more than 65,000 have recovered and joined their duties again, adding while a letter of appreciation from the minister lauding their dedication was encouraging, a parity in compensation would be of great help for the families.

"We also appreciate the prime minister when during 'Mann Ki Baat' he called railwaymen as corona warriors.

AIRF, since the beginning has been demanding parity between different cadres who are working 24×7 during this corona period and scarifying their lives.

However, It is quite unfortunate that while other categories of front line workers viz medical staff, security forces, sanitation staff etc.

are being paid Rs 50 lakh as compensation but Railwaymen are being paid Rs 25 lakh only.

"This is an absolute discrepancy and we request that it should be removed immediately by equalising the compensation of Rs 50 lakh to boost the morale of Railwaymen as well as their families," Mishra said in his letter.

"We hope the benefits announced for other corona warriors will also be given to railwaymen. AIRF, has already raised this issue in details to the CEO/Chairman," he said.