Madhya Pradesh has become a transit point along which hundreds of migrant labourers from Gujarat and Maharashtra passing through. They are travelling hundreds of kilometres on foot, on three-wheelers, cramming into trucks and cramped in buses. Many of them can be seen walking with plastic bottles, plastic bags and clothes tied to their feet because their slippers have worn out due to long hours of walking.
The national and state highways are full of traffic carrying migrant labourers amid the national lockdown. Thousands of labourer of other states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other north east states are crossing the state roads on foot with no means of transport available. They are also coming from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and other south Indian states including Tamil Naidu, Karnataka, Odisha, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh. As MP is centrally located, it has become a passage for migrants from other states. These labourers are entering through the transits points at Sendhwa, Datia, Barwani to reach their homes.
However, this is creating problems for traffic cops and police personnel deputed at every district border. Besides, migration has raised risk of COVID-19 infection in the state. There have been other fatalities. Many travellers lost lives in road accidents. Six people died when a truck carrying mangoes turn upside down in Narsinghpur recently.
Though state transport department has issued orders that passengers will not be allowed to travel in trucks, violations can be seen along national and state highways where people are travelling with all means to reach their homes. Congress MLA Jitu Patwari has drawn state government’s attention to the fact that migrants are crossing the state borders without getting food and water though some social and political organisations have helped them. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed collectors to provide food, water, first aid etc to them.