Other States

Punjab CM urges Shah to arrange special trains for migrant workers

Over 6.4 lakh migrant workers have registered on the State’s Web portal

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking his intervention to arrange special trains for the next 10-15 days, beginning May 5, for transporting migrant workers stranded in Punjab to their home States.

Capt. Amarinder urged the Home Minister to direct the Ministry of Railways to make suitable arrangements, since the migrant workers stranded in Punjab are “understandably restless to return to their States”.

The Chief Minister’s request came as over 6.4 lakh migrant workers registered on the State government’s Web portal.

In his letter to Mr. Shah, Capt. Amarinder said his government would indicate its daily requirement of trains in advance to the Railway Ministry for the next 10-15 days to transport all the people who had registered on the portal.

At the local level, officials were coordinating with senior railway officials and those in other States to plan the smooth movement of the migrants, he said.

The Chief Minister pointed out that a large number of workers come from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other eastern States to seek temporary employment in the industrial and agricultural sector in Punjab. “These people, who were due to leave in March, normally after Holi, could not leave because of the imposition of the lockdown,” he said.

Letter to PM

Capt. Amarinder also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to issue urgent directives to six premier research institutions in the State to scale up their testing capacity to 2,000 tests daily to assist the Punjab government in its public health response to Covid-19. The State on Monday reported two more deaths related to COVID-19, taking the total tally to 23, besides 132 fresh cases of COVID-19, according to an official statement.

The total active cases in the State at present are 1,081 and as many as 128 patients have so far been recovered.

In Haryana, one death was reported on May 4, taking the total to six while 75 fresh cases of COVID-19 surfaced, taking the total tally of cumulative cases to 517 in the State, according to a government statement.

Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda expressed deep concern over the sudden spurt in cases. He said Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar should take the decision to relax the lockdown in the State only after reviewing the current situation.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 5:59:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/punjab-cm-urges-shah-to-arrange-special-trains-for-migrant-workers/article31505937.ece

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