Nearly one million workers will need transport to go back to their states: Punjab Chief Minister writes to Narendra Modi

WION Web Team
Chandigarh, Chandigarh, India Updated: May 01, 2020, 11:56 AM(IST)

File Photo: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Photograph:( ANI )

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Punjab Chief Minister has asked his officers to start collecting data on migrant labourers in the state, and make sure nobody stays hungry.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has requested the Prime Minister to start special trains for the stranded migrant labours.

The request came after guidelines were issued in which the government stated that it will allow the stranded migrant labourers and students to go back to their hometown. the inter-state movement will be allowed only by buses which will ave to properly sanitised before use, and everyone will have to follow the protocols of social distancing.

"Estimates indicate that nearly one million workers will need transport to go back to their states. The only feasible option in the circumstances was to arrange special trains, which the Railways may run from point to point, keeping in view the number of persons to be transported to a given destination," Punjab CM wrote in a letter to Narendra Modi. 

Talking specifically about the migrant labourers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states who are stranded in Punjab, he wrote, "These workers are engaged both in agriculture and industries. However most of them either lost their jobs or could not find employment/work due to curfew imposed in the state to contain coronavirus."

Singh conducted a video call with his state officials and informed everyone that he has requested the Prime Minister to ask the Railway Ministry to start special trains for such labourers and students.

He has asked the District Collectors (DCs) to prepare state-wise data of migrant labourers to coordinate their movement, and has assigned one officer for each state to coordinate the return of stranded migrants.

During the video call, he pointed out that Ludhiana alone had over seven lakh migrant labourers, with the whole of Punjab having over a million of them. He also added that 70 per cent labourers belong to bihar.

As the number of stranded labourers is huge, Singh feels transportation through trains will be easier and faster, when compared to buses.

Also, to make sure nobody in the state stays hungry, he has also ordered the Food Department to increase the quota of rations to be distributed to migrants and non-smart cardholders.

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