Karnataka govt cancels special trains for migrant labourers after builder lobby meets CM
Photo Credit: ANI

The Karnataka government on Tuesday cancelled all the special trains from May 6 which were to ferry migrant workers to their home states across the country amid coronavirus lockdown. The decision came after Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa help meeting with builders on issues relating construction activities.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday appealed to migrant labourers stranded in the state due to COVID-19 lockdown not to leave for their home towns and assured them work, pointing to easing of norms allowing construction and industrial activities in non-red zones. The Chief Minister's appeal has come amid fears of shortage of labourers at a time when the government has permitted certain construction and industrial activities to resume in orange and green zones.

After Karnataka Chief Minister's appeal to migrant labourers, many took to social media and slammed the state government. Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, "Wow! So the Karnataka Govt regards migrant workers as Bonded labour!." Another user said, "The BJP thinks destitute migrants are slaves. This is utterly shameful."

Here's what netizens had to say:

On Tuesday, Yediyurappa held discussions with various builders and officials on issues relating to migrant labourers and restarting of construction activities.

"COVID-19 situation in the state is under control compared to other states. So other than in red zones, there is need to restart businesses, building construction and industrial activities. There is need to control this unnecessary travel of labourers," he told reporters after the meeting.

He said the construction industry representative told him that they have started providing employment to migrant workers in the past few days after lockdown norms were relaxed. Besides, the builders also said they paid salary and food to the workers during the past one-and-half months despite no work, the chief minister said.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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