Walking on railway track, headed for MP

Migrant labourers walking on the railway track near Ramagundam coal belt are in Peddapalli district on Monday, to reach their native villages in Madhya Pradesh.

Migrant labourers walking on the railway track near Ramagundam coal belt are in Peddapalli district on Monday, to reach their native villages in Madhya Pradesh.   | Photo Credit: Byarrangement

‘We avoid police and it is easy to identify stations and reach our native places’

With the police erecting check-posts and restricting the movement of migrant labourers heading to their native places from Telangana, some 54 migrant labourers have chosen to walk on railway tracks, covering a distance of 700 km to reach their native Binjhalgaon in Balaghat of Madhya Pradesh State from Hyderabad.

Hit by the lockdown since March 22, these construction workers were residing in rented houses and working in Kismatpura locality of Hyderabad for the last five months. Though the government had announced distribution of 12 kg rice and ₹ 500 to each migrant labourer, it has not reached most of them .

They survived on whatever rations or money they had for some days. Though some philanthropists provided rice and essential commodities they were not enough to meet their requirements. Moreover, they were hesitant to stand in queues and collect the essentials and be at the mercy of authorities.

After realising that the government may continue the lockdown for some more time, the migrant labourers including 10 women and three children decided to return to Biljhalgoan. After starting from Hyderabad on Thursday, they reached Ramagundam on Monday. They walk on the railway track during morning, evening and night along with their belongings.

The migrants have chosen the railway track apparently to avoid police harassment and being stopped at check-posts on the highways and State borders. “It is not safe to walk on the highway as police could stop us and put up in some unknown location. Hence, we chose to walk along the railway track unnoticed by authorities and it is also easy to identify stations and reach our Balaghat junction and go to our village,” said a migrant labourer Veeresh.

He said that they were taking shelter during afternoon in the villages adjoining the railway tracks. After seeing our plight, the villagers are serving us food while some others are providing rice and other essentials to cook and eat and also adequate drinking water, he said. “With no employment due to lockdown and fearing the spread of coronavirus, we are worried and decided to go to our native villages. If the government is concerned about migrant labourers, it should provide transport facility so that we can reach our homes happily,” the migrant labourers said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 5:28:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/walking-on-railway-track-headed-for-mp/article31456971.ece

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