As industries resume, most migrant workers refuse to board home-bound trains from Jalandhar
Around 2 lakh migrants had registered to return to their home states on the Jalandhar administration’s website, only 50% want to returnUpdated: May 23, 2020 16:29 IST
With industrial and construction work resuming in Jalanadhar, most migrant labourers, who had applied to return to their home states, are refusing to board the Shramik Express in favour of staying back and working.
Around 2 lakh migrants had registered on the Jalandhar administration’s website, including 1 lakh people from Uttar Pradesh, 75,000 from Bihar, besides those from Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Visakhapatnam, to return home aboard the shramik special trains during the lockdown.
So far, 80, 000 migrants have left the city in 65 trains. The state government has reportedly spent around Rs 4.37 crore on facilitating their return.
Deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said, “Around 50% migrants no longer want to return home, they want to stay back and work. Thus, we had to suspend a number of trains scheduled for UP.”
“Of the 1 lakh migrants registered to return to UP, 48,000 have left the city. Now, only trains for Bihar are running from Jalandhar. The last train to Jharkhand will departure on Sunday,” he said.
The DC said the Bihar administration had delayed initiation of the train service and so far only 15, 000 migrants had left. The administration expects around 20,000 migrant workers will board the train of the 75,000 who had registered online.
EMPLOYERS OFFER INCENTIVES
Sham, a worker from UP, who is staying at a quarantine facility at the Radha Saomi centre in Jalandhar, said that he and a relative decided not to return home as their former employer had offered them better wages.
“Our families are worried for us, which is why we wanted to leave but our situation may worsen there. We may not get employment and be able to support our families should we return home,” said a worker, Vijay Kumar.