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PATNA: Carrying sack bags, plastic cans of paint, jute bags and small containers, about 1200 Bihari migrant workers reached Danapur railway station on Saturday noon. Danapur, 8 kms west from Patna junction became the first station in Bihar to receive any passenger train since imposition of lockdown. Sanjay Kumar, the loco pilot (driver) who brought the Bihar Shramik special from Jaipur shared the happiness of migrants who started clapping as the 22 coaches train touched platform number 5.

Two more Bihar shramik specials are expected here in the next two days carrying workers from Ernakulum and Thirsssur in Kerala.

About nine special trains from Kota are expected to reach here from Monday as the Railways, Rajasthan government in co-ordination with Bihar government are running special trains for the students of different coaching institutes from May 3 to May 6 regularly.

Immediately after detraining, the migrant workers from Rajasthan were offered food packets, medically screened and maintaining social distancing sent to their respective native districts. Labourers , many of them with their families, small kids were made to sit on single seats in the buses. Five buses were sent to Muzaffarpur. Rohtas district had 175 migrants. The migrants were sent to 28 different districts, including far off Kishanganj and Purnia also.

They were kept at Jagjiwan Ram railway stadium for 90 minutes for medical examinations. Most of the migrants said they were literally starving as their employers had refused money for them. Social organisations helped them since lockdown. Some of them were working in the event management companies for carrying night lamps for marriage processions, others engaged in RCC construction works, some at saree printing units of Sanganer.

They claimed the government officers of Rajasthan had approached them a week earlier, noted down their details and assured they would be sent back to Bihar. On Friday morning, they received message that special train would leave for Danapur late evening and they reached Jaipur station immediately carrying their luggage.

They hoped Bihar government would create job opportunities for them in their villages. "Ab Bihar aa gaye hain, ab nahi jayenge(Now,we have come to Bihar, we will not return).

District Magistrate of Patna, K Ravi and divisional railway manager of Danapur division who received the migrants said the workers would be kept in the quarantine centres at different block headquarters for 14 days before allowing them to enter their villages.

Kota students who had been pressing for their return too would start leaving Kota late Saturday evening for Patna. One of the students of a coaching institute said Kota was a hotspot corona centre as over 200 positive cases have been found. The mess has been closed by the institutes and landlords were not allowing them to stay further.

There are about 10,000 students from Bihar still left at Kota. Parents of others had brought them back by their private vehicles.

Meanwhile, one more corona positive patient undergoing treatment at Nalanda Medical College Hospital here died. He was a 45-years-old resident of Sitamarhi district,150 kms from here. With his death the total number of deaths due to the virus in Bihar rose to four.

According to official spokesman, 480 positive cases have been identified in Bihar.

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Free Press Journal