The South Corporation faced flak for spraying disinfectant on migrant workers waiting in line for medical screening, before boarding Shramik special trains, Friday. The incident took place at Lajpat Nagar’s Hemu Kalani Secondary School.
Around 3.30 pm, The Indian Express saw a tanker bearing the initials of SDMC, along with four workers, pull up on the road outside the school. One of the workers began spraying disinfectant on the road and in the direction of the migrants. Another worker asked them to turn around and sprayed disinfectant directly on them. Some migrants could be seen coughing, some running as the spray hit their legs. Children in the queue rushed to hide behind steel pillars or bags.
According to SDMC, the official at the spot “apologised” to the migrants, and said food and water were distributed to them. Officials said their workers have been asked to be “careful” in future to prevent such an incident.
Lajpat Nagar councillor Sunil Sahdev said it was not done “intentionally”. “Screening of migrants who have registered for Shramik trains is going on opposite Lal Sai Market at Hemu Kalani school in Lajpat Nagar III. As the school is in a residential colony, residents and representatives demanded that disinfection of the compound be carried out. As per protocol, disinfectant spraying was being done in the evening in and around the school. Due to pressure from the jetting machine, the worker could not manage it for some moments. Staff have been instructed to be more careful in the future,” he said.
The migrants said they have been waiting over 48 hours, hoping to find a seat in a train to UP and Bihar. “We braved the heat, police indifference, and we are being subjected to this. At this point, nothing matters but to reach home. I have to go to Samastipur, Bihar, and I am not sure if my train is on schedule. I have been waiting here since last night, I am ready to wait more if I can get on the train,” said Taufeeq (30), who walked from Batla House.
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