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65,000 migrants refuse to return to native states from Haryana as industries open up

“At least 50-60 per cent of the migrants, who had earlier registered themselves for returning to their natives states, are not turning up at the railway stations. Eleven (Shramik Special) trains have already been cancelled due to low turnout of the passengers,” Haryana CID chief Anil Kumar Rao told The Indian Express

Shramik Special trains, migrant workers, Haryana government, haryana news, indian express news The Haryana government has arranged Shramik Special trains on a daily basis to send the willing migrants to their native states from various railway stations. (Representational)

With industries opening up in Haryana, almost 65,000 migrant workers have refused to return to their native states now, say officials who contacted them.

“At least 50-60 per cent of the migrants, who had earlier registered themselves for returning to their natives states, are not turning up at the railway stations. Eleven (Shramik Special) trains have already been cancelled due to low turnout of the passengers,” Haryana CID chief Anil Kumar Rao told The Indian Express. Rao monitors the movement of migrant workers while coordinating with the officers of states concerned.

“Initially, up to 2,000 people used to reach the railway stations even though we used to call only 1,600. But now when we call 1,600, only 600-700 turn up to return to their native states,” added Rao.

According to the officer, the Haryana government had earlier planned a special train for Orissa with a capacity of 1,600 migrants. “On Friday, I received a text message from a senior Orissa officer that only 300 are willing to return. Now, as per a discussion with authorities in Orissa, we will send them to a location in Bihar,” said Rao.

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The officials believe that apart from industrial activities, migrant labourers may have decided to stay back owing to the upcoming paddy sowing season here.

The Haryana government has arranged Shramik Special trains on a daily basis to send the willing migrants to their native states from various railway stations. In official documents, these migrant workers are addressed as ‘guest workers’.

According to Rao, 3.25 lakh workers have already been sent to their native states from Haryana in 96 trains and 5,200 buses. Maximum 72 trains went to Bihar followed by 17 to Madhya Pradesh while most of the stranded migrants of Uttar Pradesh were sent home via buses. Haryana officials say they arranged movement of those workers too who came from neighbouring Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory Chandigarh. These were the migrants who had been moving on foot to their states.

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To know the current scenario, the Haryana officials have contacted 3.2 lakh persons, who had earlier applied on state government’s website to return to their native states. The officials came to know that 1.13 lakh of them have already reached their native states while almost 65,000 said they were not willing to return home now. Little over 80,000 still want to return to their states. At least 97 per cent of them were looking for the government assistance for travelling. One third of them are from Gurugram district alone. Little over 60,000 phone numbers, which were mentioned while applying on the web portal were found invalid.

The officials indicate that now most of the migrant workers will be sent to their states through buses only. They also hope that normal train services will resumed in near future.

First published on: 30-05-2020 at 10:06:22 pm
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