Migrants return home by special train

Chief Minister V. Narayanaswamy flagging off the first special train for migrant labourers from the Puducherry railway station on Saturday.

Chief Minister V. Narayanaswamy flagging off the first special train for migrant labourers from the Puducherry railway station on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The first batch of over a thousand migrant workers returned to their homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on a Shramik special train in the wee hours of Sunday.

The Train 06173 KIK-PRNA left from Karaikal at 6 p.m. on Saturday with 355 migrant workers and reached Puducherry at 11 p.m. In Puducherry, 813 workers boarded the train.

In Karaikal, the train service was flagged off by Agriculture Minister R. Kamalakannan.

All the 1,168 passengers were cleared for travel after the screening organised at the Indira Gandhi sports complex in Uppalam by the health department personnel in coordination with the police.

The train, which departed shortly after 1a.m., is scheduled to reach Purnea in Bihar on Tuesday around 8 a.m.

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy flagged off the train in the presence of Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy, A. Anbalagan, MLA and Puducherry PCC president A. V. Subramanian.

The Chief Minister said that the special train service had been sanctioned by the Centre after he requested the Prime Minister and also written to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal highlighting the request to return home from the community of about 2,000 migrant workers in Puducherry.

The workers had sought to return to their homes in UP, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Jharkhand and Kashmir.

Mr. Narayanasamy said that a sum of ₹16.5 lakh had been earmarked from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund towards assistance for the workers to return home. He recalled that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had urged Congress Chief Ministers to take steps to help migrant workers.

"Another special train service is expected to be scheduled shortly to transport the rest of the workers," Mr. Narayanasamy said.

Already, the Government had facilitated the return of 6,000 workers to their homes in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana.

“We are also coordinating with other states to bring back people from the city who are stranded elsewhere,” he said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 6:02:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/migrants-return-home-by-special-train/article31608789.ece

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