Covid-19 lockdown: Over 500 migrants return to Rajasthan from West Bengal
Over 500 migrant workers stranded in West Bengal due to nationwide lockdown reached Bharatpur in Rajasthan in 17 buses on Monday morning, said an official .
Sub-divisional magistrate of Bharatpur city Sanjay Goyal said that the private buses that ferried Bengal students studying in Kota’s coaching institutes to the eastern state brought back 510 Rajasthan migrants from Kolkata on their return journey.
“All migrants are being sent to their districts by buses after screening by medical department at Uncha Nagla,” he said.
Goyal added that the migrants have been put up in government school of Behnera village near Agra-Jaipur national highway No. 21 for medical screening and breakfast. The district administration has arranged food and other facilities for them.
In all, 40 buses will bring 973 workers back to the state from West Bengal including the 17 that arrived on Monday morning. The remaining buses are on the way.
Meanwhile, 16 buses carrying Rajasthan’s migrant workers from Guwahati in Assam reached Bharatpur late on Sunday night. They were later sent onwards to their home districts.
Mahesh Kumar Pandey, a worker who belongs to Bikaner, said, “We have been living in Kolkata for a long time and worked as daily wage labourer.
“My five-month-old child has liver problem. The Kolkata hospital where he was admitted discharged him after referring him to a higher centre. I will now take him to Bikaner hospital,” he said.
Vrijendra Meena from Jhunjhunu alleged the West Bengal government did not provide them food and medical facilities. “The owner of house was putting pressure on me to pay rent but we had no money because we had no work due to the lockdown,” he said.
Kamlesh Chaudhary and Bhavesh Chaudhary from Pali also said they faced difficulty in paying rent. “We had no food and no money to pay rent. We thank Rajasthan government for bringing us home,” he said.
“Our families here were worried. We will meet them after a long time,” said Bhuri Lal from Jodhpur, who came with his wife and kids.
Till now, 100,000 migrants have returned to Rajasthan from other states while the state has sent 56,000 persons back to their states.
The Centre has allowed the movement of migrant workers, tourists, students stranded in other states due to lockdown back to their home states. This is taking place through special trains being run by the Indian Railways and through buses.
The third phase of nationwide lockdown kicked in from Monday with some relaxations in the restrictions. The states and Union Territories have drafted their own rules, mostly in line with federal guidelines that have given area-specific relaxations in a graded approach to bring back normalcy amid the Covid-19 pandemic.