Punjab CM writes to Amit Shah, demands special trains for stranded migrant labourers
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking his intervention to arrange special trains to send stranded migrant labourers back to their home states from Punjab, news agency ANI reported.
On Sunday, Singh took to Twitter and announced that he will be taking up the matter with the Centre.
“I will be taking up the matter with Center to take immediate steps for the safe & early departure of migrant workers, desirous of leaving, to their respective States. Punjab Govt will look after you in every way till GoI makes necessary arrangements. I request all to cooperate,” the chief minister tweeted on Sunday.
Singh has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct government institutes in Chandigarh and Punjab “to augment viral testing capacity of 2,000 daily”.
“Have written to request PM @NarendraModi Ji to direct Govt of India institutes in Chandigarh & Punjab i.e. PGI & IMTECH-CSIR Chandigarh, IISER Mohali, NIPER Mohali, NABI Mohali, and Central University Bathinda to augment viral testing capacity of 2,000 daily,” his tweet read.
Over 500 migrant workers stranded in West Bengal due to nationwide coronavirus lockdown reached Bharatpur in Rajasthan in 17 buses on Monday morning, said an official.
On Friday, the Centre gave in to pressure from state governments which had been demanding special trains to take the stranded workers home. The ministry rolled out the special trains on Friday and operated the first train between Telangana and Jharkhand.
Normally, it said in the guidelines, the trains will be run for distances more than 500 km and will not stop at any station before the destination. Each train with full-length composition with social distancing (not counting the middle berths) can carry about 1,200 passengers.
The government has mandated that migrant workers returning home should be placed under home quarantine to protect the local population from the spread of coronavirus.