For the past couple of days, scores of migrant workers from West Bengal have been eagerly waiting for calls from the district administration confirming that they have been allotted seats in Shramik Special trains.
Some are even circling the Jesal Park Chowpatty ground in Bhayandar hoping to get some news about the trains which could ferry them back home. But, so far, these migrants aren’t as lucky as those from other states.
The ground is used as an assembling point for passengers to board buses and reach railway stations as per the schedule of trains announced by the administration.
Left jobless due to the lockdown, the Bengali migrants, especially those from the informal sector working as goldsmiths, domestic helps and construction workers are desperate to go back home.
“At the end of every lockdown we hoped things would get better and we will be allowed to resume work. But the fourth extension left us shattered and penniless. We have no other option but to return home,” said Shivani Mandal, a housemaid in Mira Road.
Shivani is not alone, there are hundreds like her who face a similar dilemma. “Applications continue to pour in every day; so far 1,653 people have approached us with travel request of a rail-bound journey to West Bengal. The number of aspiring travellers might soar above 3,000. The district authorities should line up special trains immediately, else these migrants might end up opting illegal travel modes,” said Rathin Datha of BJP’s Bengali cell.
Last week, a bus driver in Mira Road had duped nearly 60 migrants of Rs 2 lakh by offering them a ride to their hometown in Kolkata. Meanwhile, authorities have reiterated their appealed that unless one gets a confirmation call, nobody should rush to the assembly points.
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