The Shramik Special Trains, deployed to carry stranded migrant workers back to their native places, have ferried as many as 35,000 people out of the national capital till Saturday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Sunday.
On Sunday, eight of these special trains will carry 12,000 more people out of Delhi, Sisodia said, following an inspection of a few migrant shelters where authorities are carrying out their medical screening before putting them on the trains.
“Most of these people had come to Delhi looking for work 2-6 months back. They had jobs but the lockdown has left them without much hope. I asked them when will you return – they responded when the economy reopens,” Sisodia tweeted.
In order to board these trains, migrant workers are expected to fill up a registration form, enter details including their name, address, government ID number, name of destination state, district and nearest railway stations among others.
Considering not all workers can be expected to access the online forms, the District Magistrates and Delhi Police officials have also been tasked with creating a database of such people in their respective areas of jurisdiction. On Saturday, one such offline registration drive was launched at Shahpur Jat, where thousands of migrant workers from West Bengal are presently stuck.
दिल्ली सरकार द्वारा श्रमिक स्पेशल ट्रेन से कल शाम तक 35,000 यात्री भेजे जा चुके हैं. आज भी 8 ट्रेन क़रीब 12000 यात्रियों को लेकर जा रही है. आज ऐसे ही कुछ सेंटर्स पर जाकर यात्रियों की मेडिकल जाँच का जायज़ा लिया. pic.twitter.com/gv8WTqeLwV
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) May 17, 2020
South District officials said two Shramik special trains, with a combined capacity to carry 2,400 people, will leave for West Bengal next Tuesday. So far, around 1,000 workers, including around 600 from the project site of a construction major, have so far signed up to return.
Under the MHA guidelines, only those found asymptomatic are allowed to board these trains. For migrants from neighbouring states such as Punjab, buses have been arranged.
Anxious about the fallout of the flight of migrants in such a large scale, which may cripple the economy already battered by the pandemic-induced lockdown, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had last week appealed to the workers to stay back, assuring them of income once commercial activities resumed.
The Delhi government also been batting for the reopening of the city, barring the containment zones. Kejriwal has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that offering relaxations in the lockdown may cause a spike in cases and for which adequate medical arrangements have been made.
The Kejriwal government has also sought permission to resume metro services for state and Central government employees, allow services of cab aggregators like Ola and Uber, autos, e-rickshaws and reduction of curbs on non-essential services to eight hours from 12 hours daily.
The government also wants full resumption of construction activities in case of projects where workers are present on sites and those where labourers can be transported from places situated within the city’s borders.
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