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On Thursday, Karnataka Government has taken a U-turn after facing an enormous amount of flak for cancelling the special trains for migrant labourers. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa-led Government has now decided to restart trains for migrant workers from Friday.

N. Manjunath Prasad, nodal officer for inter-state travel, has written to the Railways seeking a total of 13 trains to various states from May 8 to May 15 for transportation of stranded migrant labourers, tourists, students, pilgrims and other persons.

The Karnataka Government has also written letters to nine states seeking their consent to operate trains to their states. The states include Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha. Meanwhile, according to a leading daily, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh Governments have given their consent.

N. Manjunath Prasad said, “The State government is ready to run as many trains as needed for anyone who wants to leave go. But trains can be organised only after the receiving State consents, which is not easy to come by. There are logistics issues in these States due to return of so many migrants. We will strive to organise more trains."

Earlier, the Karnataka government had withdrawn its request to the Railways to run special trains to ferry migrant labourers to their home states, hours after builders met Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to apprise him of the problems to the construction sector in case they left.

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Free Press Journal