Hyderabad

No trains for these migrant workers

Migrant workers from Odisha who could not get a travel pass to return to their native place sitting in despair at their work site in Gachibowli on Thursday.

Migrant workers from Odisha who could not get a travel pass to return to their native place sitting in despair at their work site in Gachibowli on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Chaos and confusion prevailed among migrant workers as they rushed to different railway stations in the city in the hope of catching a train home only to be turned back. “I registered for travel at the Narayanguda police station on May 5. All of us are registered for travel but when we went to Kacheguda railway station, we were turned away. We were told there are no trains,” said Raj Kumar, who works as a mason in the city. The group of 25 people consisting of his family and friends began to walk towards their home town – Baloda Bazaar, Bhatpara in Chhattisgarh – a distance of about 800 km. “We have children and women, so we are walking slowly,” said Mr. Kumar.

Another group of migrants walked to the Secunderabad railway station, only to be turned away. “We came from Chegunta but they didn’t let us reach the station, though we had registered for travel to Bokarao,” said Ranjit Ravidas. “No, we didn’t get any message or call about the departure of the train,” said Ravidas who registered at Pet Basheerabad P.S. During the registration process, police officials repeatedly clarified that individuals registered for travel would get a call or a message. The token given by the police does not have any contact details.

As word about absence of trains spread among migrant workers, many of them continued to walk towards their home. Some of them assembled near the lay-by beyond the Outer Ring Road and began haggling with truck drivers for a ride. “They are asking for ₹1,500 till Nagpur. We can spare only ₹300,” said Farooq Khan, who completed 500 km of his 2,000-km journey towards Ramala in Uttar Pradesh from Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh. “We are asking for money because we will have to pay people on the way. We know the situation is bad,” said a truck driver who covered the rear part of the vehicle with a tarpaulin to hide people. After sometime, Farooq, who works in a footwear shop, and his friends struck a deal for ₹800 per person to Nagpur.

“We cannot wait any longer for trains. We have some money left and that will get over if we stay here. We are not getting enough food here. We will starve if we stay here,” said Rameshwar Kurrey, whose group was walking towards Mahasamund in Chhattisgarh.

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 8:29:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/no-trains-for-these-migrant-workers/article31529578.ece

Next Story