Lockdown: Thousands of migrant workers stranded in western MP
Amid the nationwide lockdown, thousands of migrant labourers who left for their native places have got stranded in western Madhya Pradesh and are getting impatient because of loss of jobs, misery of being displaced and uncertainty over return to home.
Indore: Amid the nationwide lockdown, thousands of migrant labourers who left for their native places have got stranded in western Madhya Pradesh and are getting impatient because of loss of jobs, misery of being displaced and uncertainty over return to home.
Among the stranded labourers, the biggest number is of those who left from neighbouring Maharashtra to go to their home states, officials said.
Most of these workers had taken the National Highway No.3 connecting Mumbai to Agra, but after entering Madhya Pradesh, they were stopped from proceeding further.
Majority of these stranded labourers are natives of Uttar Pradesh, a Madhya Pradesh administration official said.
Some of these labourers had left for their native places by somehow managing to get into four-wheelers, while many set off for home on motorcycles and bicycles, he said.
Many of them also marched on foot along with their families for hundreds of kilometres in the summer heat.
After they were stopped at Bijasan Ghat in Barwani district, some of the angry migrant workers indulged in stone-pelting and staged road blockades on the National Highway No.3 in last five days, a police official said.
This mountaineous area located along the Maharashtra border is witnessing a huge gathering of migrant labourers every day. According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of such stranded migrants can be seen on the 170-km stretch from Bijasan Ghat to Indore.
Besides, hundreds of migrant workers are also stranded in Indore, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, and its adjoining areas. They want to reach their homes at the earliest, a sub-divisional magistrate said.
These include a large number of labourers who worked in Indore and nearby Pithampur industrial area, where most of the factories have shut due to the coronavirus crisis. These labourers are currently lodged in shelter homes, he said.
The Ratlam division of the Western Railway has said it has completed preparations to run special trains from Indore for migrant workers. But, it has not received any formal request from the Madhya Pradesh government or the home states of migrant labourers for running the trains.
"If a formal request is made by the state governments concerned to the railways, we can ferry about 1,200 migrants in every special train to their home state while following the physical distancing norms in coaches," Ratlam rail division's senior public relations officer Jitendra Kumar Jayant said.
He said before running the Shramik special trains, it is necessary for two states to reach an agreement, especially on preparations for the departure and arrival of migrant workers.