Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and urged him to make advance plans to run special train services from Mumbai and Pune to take the stranded migrant workers in Maharashtra to their native states after the lockdown ends on May 3.
"In the near future, may be on May 3rd, 2020 or any other later date, as decided by the Government of India, the lockdown will be withdrawn and public transport including Railway services would be starting and there will be huge rush of all these migrated labourers at all Railway stations," Pawar wrote.
He added, "You are therefore requested to make necessary arrangements in advance, including running special trains from Mumbai and Pune to all major destinations in the country to accomodate all such restless labourers, so that there will not be any law and order problem at Railway stations in Maharashtra."
Ajit Pawar' letter to Piyush Goyal comes two days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged an Inter-Ministerial Central Team which came to assess the COVID-19 status and lockdown management.
In the letter, Pawar adds that Maharashtra is a leading industrial state and having highest construction activities, a large number of informal labourers particularly migrated from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other northern states are working in these sectors.
He also informed the Railway Minister that around 650,000 migrants are living in camps in Maharashtra where the state is providing them with daily food and health services to them.
Besides another similar number of migrants are being fed and cared for by various NGOs or social organisations as all these labourers are now rendered jobless and keen to return to their home states.