Andhra Pradesh

Migrant workers off to Bihar by special train

RTC buses arranged from the Polavaram project site to enable migrant workers to reach Kovvur railway station for their onward journey to Bihar on Sunday.  

Migrant workers engaged by different industries and at construction sites in the State have been growing restive for the last couple of days.

Staying put in shelter homes, camps and industries for the last 45 days owing to the lockdown imposed to check the spread of COVID-19, the workers, who were desperate to reach their native places, recently set off on foot throwing caution to the winds, which led to the police using force to quell them. The police had resorted to mild lathi-charge at various places when the workers staged protests.

Hailing from the States such as Odisha, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Assam, and West Bengal, the workers had migrated to Andhra Pradesh in search of livelihood.

Lockdown blues

The long lockdown period and increasing COVID-19 cases made the restive workers hit the streets demanding transport arrangements for their safe passage. Heeding their pleas, the authorities arranged a special train on Sunday to send 650 workers engaged at the Polavaram project site, 205 workers in the construction activity at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Mangalagiri, and others to Bihar.

The train was arranged after the officials made a vain bid to convince the workers to stay back and even promised them better amenities.

“We have tried in vain to pacify them. A few workers are homesick and are fasting, seeking that they be sent home. We made arrangements for their journey to Bihar,” an officer, who was monitoring the arrangements, said.

“In all, 350 migrants working in various places in East Godavari district, 205 working at AIIMS, Mangalagiri, and 650 working at the Polavaram project site are travelling to Bihar,” said Kovvur Revenue Divisional Officer D. Lakshma Reddy. “We provided 50 buses from East Godavari, Polavaram and Guntur to enable them to reach Kovvur railway station. Drinking water, food, masks and sanitisers have been provided to them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vijayawada DRM P. Srinivas, said the Shramik Special bound for Barauni, Bihar, left Kovvur. Polavaram DSP Venkateswara Rao arranged security at the Polavaram project site.

“The non-stop train has been arranged following a request by the officials. All precautions have been taken as per COVID-19 protocol,” the DRM added.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 12:23:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/migrant-workers-off-to-bihar-by-special-train/article31552742.ece

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