A group of migrant workers held a protest at Bypass road in Amritsar, Punjab on Friday, May 29; after they were forced to stay on road as the Special Shramik trains carrying migrant workers to their homes got canceled. Now the migrant urges the Punjab Government to make arrangements for their return to their homes.
According to the migrants they had registered for a “Shramik Special” train and their health screening was also done on Wednesday. However, when they boarded the bus leaving for the railway station, they were informed that the train got canceled. Pulkit, a migrant worker stated, “Yesterday our health screening was done. We boarded a bus also but were told that our train has been canceled. We are now forced to stay on the road. We request the Punjab Government to send us home.”
Hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers have been strayed in urban areas with no livelihood and very little to survive in this nationwide lockdown, forcing them to take the path of their native places on foot. The Central government has organized the safe travel of the migrant workers to their native places through Special Shramik Trains, earlier this month.
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In a major relief for migrant workers who are far away from their homes amid the nationwide lockdown, Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that no travel fare would be charged from the migrant workers for their travel back to their homes. The court also asked the states and railways to provide free meals and water to migrants during their travel. The Supreme Court said, “State and Union Territories should publicise place and period for providing food to stranded workers.”
With 19, fresh positive cases of the COVID- 19 Punjab has reached a total case of 2,158 and 40 people have succumbed to the infection in the state so far.