Migrant workers arrive at Mangaluru Central station, return

Police and district administration officials talking to migrant workers who had gathered outside Mangaluru Central Railway Station on Friday.   | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

Going by some false information that the government had arranged a train to north India, several migrant workers in the city turned up at Mangaluru Central Railway Station on Friday morning only to return later.

Convinced by officials, they returned in 10 KSRTC buses arranged by the district administration. The officials took nearly two hours to convince them to leave.

It was from 7 a.m. that the labourers began arriving at the station. “We were told that trains to Jharkhand will start from Friday. Hence we all came here,” said Rasool Ansari, who was among the group of about 40 labourers who had walked to the station from Kunjathbail.

Labourer Sunil Chowdhury said he and 11 others from Jharkhand had booked their tickets in January for journey on April 22. “We need to go there for harvesting. There is no work here and there is no point in continuing our stay,” said Mr. Chowdhury. Labourers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan had also come with their bags to the station. “It’s nearly a fortnight since registering our names in the Seva Sindhu portal. We are yet to hear from officials,” said Brij Mohan, a painter, hailing from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Gopi Singh, another Jharkhand resident, added that the State government had arranged buses to send labourers of Karnataka to different parts of the State but did not do anything to send migrant labourers from other States working in Karnataka to their respective States. “The builders who did not care for us during the lockdown period are now offering us food and wages and are asking us to stay back. But we have made up our mind to go to our native places,” said labourer Abu Sahma.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Arunangshu Giri showed labourers a tweet by Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren mentioning about the government’s committment to bring back stranded labourers from different parts of the State. Additional Deputy Commissioner M.J. Roopa and Labour Officer Wilma who arrived at the station told them that the State government was in talks with other States. “Once we receive approval from the government’s concerned, we will pick you up from your places and send you back,” Ms. Roopa told the labourers. “As many as 9,000 labourers have registered on the Seva Sindhu portal,” Ms. Wilma added.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 6:48:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/migrant-workers-arrive-at-mangaluru-central-rly-station-return/article31532326.ece

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