Have brought back 5 lakh migrant workers: Madhya Pradesh Government
The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led MP government has said that at least 3.52 lakh migrants have returned to MP by buses while 1.46 lakh others returned on 119 special trains.
As the country enters the last week of the fourth phase of the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the migrant crisis continues to deepen. Crores of migrant workers, across the country, have been trying to return to their native villages and states. However, the states that are sending and receiving these migrants are under fire for failing to arrange adequate transportation facilities for them. Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh government has claimed that it has brought back over five lakh workers to the state.
On Saturday, the government claimed that over five lakh migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh - who were stranded in different parts of the country - returned to their home state using buses and special trains.
According to news agency PTI, additional chief secretary ICP Keshari said that at least 3.52 lakh migrants have returned to MP by buses, while 1.46 lakh others returned on 119 special trains.
The senior bureaucrat in charge of the state control room said that a majority of these workers have returned from Gujarat. According to the MP government data, 2.02 lakh migrants were brought back from Gujarat, 1.12 lakh from Maharashtra and 1.10 lakh from Rajasthan.
Apart from these, stranded migrants were also brought back from Goa, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Notably, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi top the list of states with COVID-19 positive cases.
In the past week, the politics over ferrying migrant workers back to their home states has intensified. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Uttar Pradesh government had declined the offer of 1,000 buses – meant for migrant workers – made by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Later, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Vadra locked horns over the issue. CM Chouhan too had criticised Vadra asking her to visit his state to see how the crisis was being managed by the MP government.
प्रियंका जी, अगर आपको सच में श्रमिकों की मदद करनी है, तो मध्यप्रदेश आइये। हमारे यहॉं की व्यवस्थाऍं देखिये, सीखिए; उससे आपको मदद मिलेगी। मध्यप्रदेश की धरती पर आपको कोई मजदूर भूखा, प्यासा और पैदल चलता हुआ नहीं मिलेगा। हमने कारगर इंतजाम किये हैं। pic.twitter.com/4MDrl4UDlv— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) May 19, 2020
The Railways had started operating 'Shramik Special' trains, on May 1, for the migrant workers. However, it has proved insufficient, and has forced the migrant workers to return to their native states on foot.