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With no work post-floods in northeast Bihar, migrant labourers are Punjab-bound in festive season

Migrants labourers from Bihar hope to earn Rs 300 to Rs 400 per day by harvesting paddy crops in Punjab.

patna Updated: Oct 11, 2017 16:05 IST
Aditya Nath Jha
Aditya Nath Jha
Hindustan Times, Purnia
migrant labourers,Punjab-bound,festive season
Punjab-bound migrant labourers at Saharsa railway station in northeast Bihar.(HT photo)

Sanoj and Anandi will be missed by their families at Purnia in northeast Bihar during the ensuing Diwali and Chhath festivals.

Finding it difficult to get a job during the harvesting season after paddy crops were destroyed in a large area of Purnia district, 367 km northeast of state capital Patna, by the devastating floods early this year, Sanoj, Anandi and hundreds of migrant labourers have left for Punjab to earn a livelihood.

“Can anyone enjoy festival without money?” Sanoj of Srinagar (Purnia) asked before leaving for the northern state where he would be employed to harvest paddy crops.

“We had no option. As soon as we reach Punjab, we will be engaged in harvesting of paddy crops for which we will get Rs 300 to 400 a day, besides food,” Seet Kumar of Teghra village in Dagarua block of Purnia said.

While, Seet Kumar had left for Punjab on Tuesday, many other migrant labourers had crowded Saharsa and Katihar junctions, the two important railway stations in northeast Bihar, to board trains.

READ| Flood hit Bihar farmers to be compensated for crop damage within a month

Details of ticket sale showed that 82,060 passengers, mostly labourers, had travelled from Saharsa to various towns of Punjab and Haryana in the last five days.

“Almost 17,000 passengers were leaving for the two northern states daily by Jan Sewa Express, Jansadharan Express and some special trains,” railway officials at Saharsa said. Normally, 2,000 to 3,000 people travelled to the two states daily from Saharsa, the officials added.

The situation was no different at Katihar.

Ravindra Kumar Jain, Samastipur division railway manager, under whose jurisdiction Saharsa falls, said special trains were being run to meet the heavy rush of passengers. More special trains would be introduced if needed, he added.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 16:05 IST