Udayavni Special

Kerala renews plea for non-stop trains to facilitate return of migrant workers

PTI, Apr 30, 2020, 8:59 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: With the Centre issuing guideines on the inter-state movement of migrant workers, the Kerala government renewed its demand for special non-stop trains to transport those who are keen to leave for their respective states, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

The Chief Secretary has written a letter in this regard to Union Home secretary, he told reporters here.

Earlier, the state government had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange for special non stop trains to transport the workers.

There are 3.60 lakh workers in 20,826 camps in the southern state and 99 per cent of them, hailing from West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, want to return to their respective states, Vijayan noted.

The Union Home Ministry in an order issued on Wednesday allowed migrant workers, tourists, students and other people who are stranded in different parts of the country to move to their respective states with certain conditions.

As per the order, buses would be used for transporting the stranded people and these vehicles would be sanitised and will have to follow safe social distancing norms on seating.

“There were so many people who wish to leave for their respective states. The distance they have to traverse from the southern state was very long, it would be a tiresome journey to transport them by bus and there was a possiblity of the virus spreading,” the Chief Minister said.

“We need to follow certain norms before making arrangements for theirtravel. Not all can leave at the same time. Some workers may show some haste.

Police will look into it. They will be assisted with other health workers,” he added.

The state has informed the Centre that strict social distancing norms need to be adhered to during the transportation of workers to their home states, medical teams ensured in each trains and food and water provided in the trains itself.

Meanwhile,violating lockdown norms, at least 100 guest workers took out a march at Malappuram demanding immediate arrangements for their return to their home states.

Holding placards and raising slogans, the workers took out the march at around 10 am today at nearby Chattiparambil bazaardemanding transport facilities to move back to their native as there was no work here.

“We have no problems with regard to our accomodation facilities orfood.

But, our families in our home states are starving and the government should make arrangements for our return”, they said.

Several guest workers had assembled in Paippad town in Kottayam district on March 29 urging the state government to arrange vehicles for them to travel to their home destinations in north India.

With the Union Home Ministry deciding to permit the movement of migrant workers to their respective states, all steps would be taken to avoid unnecessary rush and erupting of skirmishes in their midst.

The state Police Chief Loknath Behera has issued directions in this connection to all district police chiefs and assistance of other related departments would also be taken, a press release said.

“All arrangements for the return journey of the workers will soon commence for which they will have to wait for some days and they willbe made to understand this.

Necessary orders have been issued to ensure that no law and order issues erupt due to this, the release added.

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