April 22, 2021 4:22:23 am
With migrants workers once again rushing to leave for their native places, Ludhiana DC Varinder Kumar Sharma Wednesday issued an appeal asking them not to panic, adding that factories would continue to operate even during Covid curbs. Around 23 tourist buses carrying migrants to UP and Bihar were challaned on April 20 and 21 as they did not have valid permit to carry passengers.
Information revealed that buses were overloaded even as Covid norms mandate 50 per cent capacity cap.
DC Varinder Kumar Sharma said, “We have no plans to close factories or industrial units as it will be the last resort. As of now we have vaccinated around 4.38 lakh people in Ludhiana and none have faced adverse reactions. However, we have seen some movement of migrants via buses to their home states after being misled by few or after falling prey to rumours. Already PM Narendra Modi and CM Capt Amarinder Singh have indicated that economic activity will not be hampered as of now and hence workers need not to panic.”
He added, “I appeal to migrant brothers not to waste their money and time in travelling and many buses are not even following Covid protocols and are not taking necessary permits which can be detrimental for them as well as their families.”
Sandeep Singh, Regional Transport Officer, Ludhiana, said, “On Tuesday, I had challaned 12 buses while on Wednesday 11 buses which were carrying migrants towards UP and Bihar after issuing tickets to them for their set destinations. However, all of them were tourist buses and were not having any stage carriage permit to ferry passengers. They can carry only tourists from destination A to destination B and that too after seeking due permission. In addition to this, buses were not even running with 50 per cent capacity. All of them were challaned and impounded. ”
Sources revealed that after paying due fines, most buses went ahead with passengers while many others arranged other buses for their passengers who were not at fault. As trains are running in less numbers, hence many migrants are choosing buses over trains to go back.
“We don’t want them to fall prey to rumours, hence we issued them an appeal in the beginning itself,” said DC Ludhiana.
Some migrants always move to their home states during April-May for taking care of their crops, while wedding season also starts in UP-Bihar during these months. “Many who have seasonal jobs, otherwise also leave and few others are apprehending a lockdown in Punjab too, hence they want to go back,” said Ganga Thakur, a resident of Sitamarhi district of Bihar who lives in Jamalpur area of Ludhiana. Maya Devi, a resident of Pakhowal road who hails from UP, said,”We get calls from villagers everyday that lockdown can happen after May 2, hence a number of families are making up their minds to leave while many others who have jobs are not going. ”
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