Taking into consideration the plight of lakhs of migrant workers who are stranded in Maharashtra due to ongoing lockdown post-outbreak of corona pandemic and eager to return to their native states, the MVA government on Thursday once again urged the Centre to start trains for these migrants from Mumbai and Pune, with advance planning, after the lifting of lockdown.
In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that after the lockdown ends on May 3, thousands of migrants from other states will make a beeline to catch trains back home.
‘As Maharashtra is a leading industrial state and having highest construction activities, a large number of informal labourers particularly migrated from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other northern states are working in these sectors,’ he informed Goyal. Owing to the COVID-19 lockdown, around 6,50,000 migrants are living in camps in Maharashtra, where the state is providing them with daily food and health services.
Besides another similar number of migrants are being fed and cared for by various NGOs or social organisations as all these labourers are now rendered jobless and keen to return to their home states.
Pawar’s letter to Goyal came two days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged an Inter-Ministerial Central Team – which came here to assess the COVID-19 status and lockdown management – for similar reliefs for the migrants who want to return to their native states.