Lockdown singed MP migrants finally reach home (Ld)

Bhopal, May 2 (IANS) The first trainload of 347 migrant labourers arrived in the Madhya Pradesh capital from Nashik on Saturday. They were screened before reaching the city and no relatives were allowed to receive them.

The special train was stopped at Misrod 20 km from Bhopal, where they were tested and provided food, and then loaded into buses for their forward journeys to respective districts.

On Friday, thousands of similar migrant groups reached Jharkhand from Telangana and others left for Bhubaneswar from Kochi.

The Shramik special with six coaches took eight hours from Nashik to Misrod, as it rolled in under the strict vigil of the district administration.

“The long wait for migrant labourers stranded in Nashik in Maharashtra is over. A total of 347 workers reached Bhopal this morning on board a special Bhopal-bound Shramik train which left Nasik at 9.30 p.m. on Friday. They are being sent to their homes in buses,” Misrod SDOP Anil Tripathi told IANS.

PRO of Bhopal railway zone I.A. Siddiqui told IANS that these labourers are from 25 districts of Madhya Pradesh. The labourers were kept in various shelters in Nasik after the lockdown to contain coronavirus came into effect.

The railway authorities handed the passengers to the district administration and after a thorough screening they were sent to their respective destination in special buses. The Bhopal Divisional Railway Manager Uday Borwankar had announced that the train would arrive at 6.30 a.m. but it rolled in at 5.45 a.m.

The Shramik special is one of the five such trains being run to ferry passengers from different states.

Special District Magistrate Rajesh Gupta said no relatives were allowed to receive the passengers. The district authorities were asked to take a call on individual passengers who would need to be quarantined further or be sent to home districts by buses.

Gupta said the passengers were segregated according to the safety level of the districts they were headed off to.

All those arriving in the non-stop train from Nashik were informed individually on Friday afternoon and asked to gather at the railway station in the Maharashtra city. They were told not to share information with others to avoid crowding in Nashik, especially after the Bandra fiasco.

The passengers were already quarantined for two weeks at a shelter in Nashik before being taken aboard. Their details were recorded and it was ensured they were absolutely risk-free. Fifty passengers per coach was permitted.

The earlier plan to bring them to Bhopal was changed to ensure the passengers were gathered for effective dispersal through connecting transport. Considerable planning went into the transportation of passengers after the Bandra melee and its consequences in Mumbai last month.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was assured by the railways of all help for further transportation of passengers stranded in other states. Chouhan had tweeted on Friday evening about the special train being run to bring back the stranded labourers.

“Labourers stranded in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa are like my brothers. They should not worry about anything. We will bring all of them back,” Chouhan had tweeted.

Besides migrant labourers, others like students and professionals can register themselves with the state government to be ferried to destinations, Railways have said.



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