On Friday, the federal government of India operated 5 trains from Maharashtra, Telangana, Kerala, and Rajasthan to transport greater than 7,00zero folks, together with stranded labourers, pilgrims, vacationers, and college students. (PTI photograph)
As quickly because the coronavirus pandemic struck, India took no time to rescue its residents from Covid-19 hotspots world wide, working particular flights to bring again these stranded in international international locations.
But it took the federal government greater than a month to prepare particular trains and bus companies to ferry stranded migrant labourers again to their houses.
When the lockdown was introduced on March 25, 1000’s of migrant staff and every day wage earners had been seen strolling and biking for a whole lot of kilometres to return to their villages, with entry to no meals or cash. Many misplaced their lives in the course of the daunting journeys. And the migrant exodus in India nonetheless continues.
After the primary 40 days of the lockdown was over, on May Day, the federal government lastly determined to begin working “Shramik Special” trains to transfer the migrant staff to their dwelling states.
On Friday, the federal government of India operated 5 trains from Maharashtra, Telangana, Kerala, and Rajasthan to transport greater than 7,00zero folks, together with stranded labourers, pilgrims, vacationers, and college students.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday got here up with a notification on this. Hours earlier than the notification, the primary prepare carrying 1,200 migrants to Hatia in Jharkhand began from Lingampalli in Telangana at 5 am.
However, it got here at a value.
As the federal government lastly introduced pointers for the transport of stranded labourers, there have been a number of studies about migrants staff being charged for prepare and bus fares, whereas some meals is being organized by the native administrations.
While the Kerala authorities requested the poor labourers to pay the bottom fare of Rs 875 for being ferried to Jharkhand, particular trains that left Maharashtra for various states additionally charged migrant staff the fundamental fare.
A migrant employee from Telangana who reached his native village in Jharkhand yesterday instructed India Today TV, “Looks like some kind of a joke has happened with us. We wanted to come back to our villages because we have no income or money to make ends meet and now finally the government has thought about us, it is charging money from us. If we had money, what was the need for us to go back?”
Another migrant employee from Nasik mentioned, “This government can shell out crores to bring back rich Indians who were stranded in foreign countries but they do not have money to send the poorest and the most hardworking lot of their country to their homes. For that also, we have to pay. Where do we get the money from?”
Additional Chief Secretary (MHA) Vishwas Mehta mentioned all preparations are being made by the Centre however no tickets are being offered totally free. “The tickets are being given to us by the Railways. They have to pay the basic fare for it. Food and water will be arranged by us,” he mentioned.
Meanwhile, the Railways that has introduced the operation of “Shramik Special” trains for migrant staff and different stranded residents and that will probably be charging state governments for the companies.
The fare would come with the price of a sleeper class ticket, superfast cost of Rs 30, and Rs 20 for meals and water per passenger.
Many folks have already expressed their disappointment over the matter, together with Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who mentioned the central authorities ought to rethink this determination as it’s an injustice to labour returning dwelling.
On Sunday, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav additionally hit out on the central and state governments for charging cash to bring again poor migrant staff in particular trains.