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Friday, May 29, 2020

Following flak, Karnataka to restart train services for migrants

The state government has written to nodal officers of various states seeking their consent to operate trains to their states from May 8 to 15.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru | Updated: May 7, 2020 8:17:34 pm
karnataka migrants train services, karnataka bjp government, migrant labourers railways, trains migrants lockdown, The state government has arranged staying facility for migrants in an Convention Centre on Bellary road, Bengaluru till the train service restart. (Photo: Special arrangement)

A day after the Karnataka government decided to cancel all trains arranged to transport migrants to other states to “revive the economy”, the BS Yeddyurappa-led government Thursday directed to restart train services following criticism of its earlier decision.

The state government has written to nodal officers of various states seeking their consent to operate trains to their states from May 8 to 15. On Tuesday, the Karnataka government cancelled all trains arranged to transport migrants to other states. It wrote to the South Western Railway (SWR) withdrawing their request to arrange for train services scheduled for Wednesday.

After Karnataka stopped the train, hundreds of people began walking home from Bengaluru. Migrant labourers from North Indian states were seen walking back to their states. After this development, the state government decided to run 100-plus trains to nine states.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, N Manjunath Prasad, Nodal Officer for Migrants in Karnataka said, “we have written letters to different states seeking their consent to operate the trains for the transportation of stranded migrant labourers, students, tourists, and other people. Once we receive their consent we will start the train services.”

Bihar has given its consent to run two special trains every day from 8 May to 15 May. Consent from Jharkhand, Odisha, Manipur, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is awaited.

Earlier on Tuesday, representatives of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) had met CM Yediyurappa after which the CM said, “The COVID-19 situation is in control in Karnataka when compared to other states. Industrial, construction, and trade activities need to be resumed outside areas marked as red zones. Hence, labourers may avoid unnecessary travel back to their natives.”

The first Shramik Special train left Chikkabanavara for Bhubaneswar in Odisha on Sunday, after which three other trains, two Bihar-bound, and another to Jharkhand, departed from stations on the city outskirts on the same day.

On Monday and Tuesday, four more trains were arranged — to Jaipur (Rajasthan), Danapur (Bihar), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), and Barkakana (Jharkhand) from Chikkabanavara and Malur stations.

Over 9,000 migrant workers had left the city in these trains since Saturday. The state government had arranged BMTC buses for migrants who had pre-registered themselves for the travel to reach the railway stations on the outskirts of the city.

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