Other States

3.62 lakh migrant workers arrive in Rajasthan

Migrant workers taking rest at a temporary shelter near Rarah in Bharatpur district.  

Over 3.62 lakh migrant workers deprived of their livelihood in the nationwide lockdown have returned to their home towns in Rajasthan from States such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by trains and buses.

After the State's borders were sealed on Friday following a spike in the COVID-19 cases, a large numbers of migrants got stuck at the checkpoints.

The Rajasthan government has since revised the guidelines for entry of those coming from other States by treating the passes issued there as valid. A committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) Subodh Agarwal is keeping a tab on the movements and is in touch with other States to ensure ease of travel for the stranded labourers.

Mr. Agarwal said on Monday that the highest number of 2.20 lakh workers had so far returned from neighbouring Gujarat, followed by 21,400 from M.P., while 43,320 students at the coaching hub of Kota and 3,900 pilgrims at the Ajmer dargah had been sent back by special trains. Twenty-three trains have left the State for different places in the country since May 1.

Through the online platforms, 19.84 lakh stranded people, including 11.14 lakh inward and 8.69 lakh outward, have got themselves registered for the journey. “In the coming days, lakhs of labourers will be sent to their home States and will be brought back to Rajasthan. We hope that things go hassle-free and as we planned,” Mr. Agarwal said.

The Additional Chief Secretary said the State government had taken strict measures to ensure the safety of stranded labourers after the Aurangabad train accident in which 16 migrant workers were run over by a freight train. Over 1.06 lakh workers have so far travelled out of Rajasthan.

Amid reports that the migrant labourers have set off on foot to their home States, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has issued an appeal to them not to walk on roads, as arrangements were being made for their transport. He said buses were being arranged for short distances, while a request had been made to the railways to increase the number of special trains.

Clash at border

While the reports of migrants gathering at Ratanpur checkpoint on Rajasthan-Gujarat border came in before they were allowed on Monday, the police personnel of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh clashed over the homeward journey of workers at the inter-State border adjoining Bharatpur district on Sunday.

The U.P. police did not allow the labourers belonging to Bihar and Jharkhand to enter the State.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 12:05:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/362-lakh-migrant-workers-arrive-in-rajasthan/article31561510.ece

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