Lockdown 4.0: Since May 1, 385 trains have ferried over 5 lakh migrants home, says home minister Anil Deshmukh
BL Soni

About five lakh migrants in 385 trains were ferried to their home states. "A total of 325 trains have taken migrant labourers back to their native states till Tuesday night. Some 60 more trains have departed from various stations today," Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said.

The Railways has been operating Shramik Special trains since May 1 to transport migrants who were stuck away from their home states in view of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

"While 187 trains have been sent for Uttar Pradesh, 44 services ran for Bihar, 33 for Madhya Pradesh and 13 for Rajasthan besides other states," Deshmukh said. He added that a train had also left for West Bengal.

Close on the heels of migrant workers rushing to the Bandra terminus in Mumbai on Tuesday in the hope of boarding a train for north India, Deshmukh said only those people who receive a telephone call from the government must approach railway stations and avoid crowding. Many labourers had claimed that they started for the Bandra Terminus after receiving calls from the police saying they were selected to travel on the train for Purnia in Bihar on Tuesday.

Deshmukh said that since the state government has been bearing the ticket fare for migrant labourers, they need not pay anything. Last week, he had countered the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s claim that 85 per cent of the travel cost was borne by the Centre and balance 15 per cent by the states.

"All the 93 police stations in Mumbai are under pressure for preparing lists of migrant labourers who wish to return home. The state government has issued an order under which some 1,500 employees of the state government will assist these police stations in preparing the lists, which will hopefully reduce the burden on the police," he said.

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