In wake in reports of thousands of migrant workers arriving in state from neighbouring Gujarat on fake pass, the transport commissioner on Wednesday directed checking of every interstate bus or goods vehicle to prevent illegal transportation,
The direction comes after Free Press reported about thousands of migrant workers being brought in the trucks to Satna from Surat notably on fake passes. Similarly, trucks loaded with stranded migrants are also arriving in Gwalior district. Desperate to get to their hometowns amid the COVID-19 lockdown, migrant labourers have been travelling in crowded buses and trucks, and many of them were forced to shell out up to Rs 3,000 for these trips.
On April 13 the decision was taken to give freeway to the trucks transporting essential items. The state transport department had instructed its officials to stop screening vehicles, especially those carrying essential commodities, however, the truckers taking advantage of the leeway started illegally transportation of migrants. In the latest order, state transport commissioner V Madhu Kumar instructed officials to check all passenger and goods vehicles to prevent illegal transportation of migrants. The checking will resume to put a stop to the illegal transportation of migrants that can also increase the risk of coronavirus spread, the order stated. Directions have been issued to check every truck and if anyone is found violating the transportation norms, strict action would be initiated.
The department officials were instructed to follow Covid-19 the health safety protocol like wearing mask and maintaining the social distancing. Seeing no help coming from anywhere amidst lockdown, scores of stranded migrant labourers started journey on foot to their native place. The state government though has assured that it is arranging busses to ferry all stranded labourers, however, the assurance came too late.