Other States

Bengal not keen on bringing home migrant workers: Goyal

Rly. Minister says so far the State govt. had not even allowed eight trains to run as per its announcement

There is a need to run 105 Shramik Special trains every day to bring back migrants to West Bengal, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday, adding the State government needed to “speed up” arrangements to receive its own people.

He was responding to a tweet by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in which she announced that the State government had arranged for 105 such trains over the next month.

“Towards our commitment to helping all our people stuck in different parts of the country and who want to return back to Bengal, I am pleased to announce that we have arranged 105 additional special trains ... Over the coming days, these special trains will embark from different States for various destinations across Bengal bringing our people back home,” Ms. Banerjee had tweeted.

As per the schedule shared by the Chief Minister, these trains are planned up till June 15.

In response to the announcement, Mr. Goyal tweeted, “I feel sad that while there is a need for 105 trains/day to bring back migrants to WB, the State is accepting only 105 trains over 30 days. I once again hope for the sake of Bengali brothers & sisters in different parts of the country, that WB will accept them back with open arms.”

He added that many migrants want to return to West Bengal and if the State did not accept them, then there might be “more cases of migrants and even children walking for hundreds of km and resorting to other dangerous means. WB should speed up setting up adequate arrangements to receive their own migrants.”

Mr. Goyal added that so far the Government of West Bengal had not even allowed eight trains to run as per its announcement last week. In comparison, he said Uttar Pradesh had cleared 400 trains in less than 15 days and brought its migrant workers home.

“Instead of this kind of activity, the West Bengal government is preventing the labourers from getting quick assistance ... West Bengal’s poor labourers are not being allowed to come to their homes by the government there,” he alleged.

The Railways had started the migrant special service on May 1. As per data shared by it, so far over 800 such trains have been run, including 386 trains for Uttar Pradesh, 204 trains for Bihar, 67 trains for Madhya Pradesh, 46 trains for Odisha, 44 trains for Jharkhand, 18 for Rajasthan and seven each for Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

“This is a petty attempt to dupe the migrant workers from West Bengal, and the government there is running away from its responsibility to take the poor labourers home,” Mr. Goyal said in one of the tweets.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 3:24:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bengal-not-keen-on-bringing-home-migrant-workers-goyal/article31587157.ece

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