Udayavni Special

K’taka Lockdown: Nearly 4 lakh leave Bengaluru, another 2 lakh at bus stands


Team Udayavani, Apr 28, 2021, 7:48 PM IST

Bengaluru: As the state went under a 14-day lockdown on Tuesday, April 27 night, the Karnataka Transport Department has assessed at least four lac people have left Bengaluru by bus and another two lakh are still waiting in various bus stations to go back to their hometowns.

A common sight at bus stands is of labour contractors trying their best to persuade workers not to leave while transport officials and police were constantly using loudspeakers to ask people to wear masks and maintain social distance.

According to a senior Transport Department official, the crowd was so huge that buses ran full, with nearly three lakh people leaving Bengaluru on state transport corporation buses and more than a lakh people using private transport.

“Even though some labour contractors have succeeded in retaining few workers with them but large segments of the blue-collar workforce remained firm on their decision to leave Bengaluru,” a traffic officer at Majestic bus stand told IANS.

Labour contractor, Somashekhar Gowda, who works with a security and housekeeping staff management company, said that it has become very difficult to retain workers.

“For the last two days, I have been camping at the Yeshwanthpura bus stand and in front of Market Yard, from where many are leaving and one common thing to say – they cannot risk their children’s life during the pandemic, claiming it was not possible to get simple medicine for their near and dear ones since last one week and the situation was worsening,” he said.

Gowda’s assistant Shivakumar told IANS that most migrant workers at construction sites live in a makeshift sheds, provided with bare minimum facilities, and as these are congested, it is very conducive for the deadly virus to spread here. “Therefore most of the blue collared workforce is interested in getting back to their home town, instead of staying here and taking a chance,” Shivakumar explainede said.

Fakirappa and Lakshmavva, who were working as labourers in a construction site in Peenya, told IANS that they were still hopeful to go back to their village in Raichuru.

“We have three children aged below seven years and we cannot put our children’s lives at risk. The pandemic in Bengaluru is so merciless that it takes no less than Rs 25,000 to cremate a person here. The person working in another construction site died due to Corona and his wife is in hospital while their children are clueless about their parents though they are with relatives. After seeing their plight, we decided to leave this place because we did not want our children to face any such eventualities….,” they said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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