Migrants who were left behind show the tokens allotted to them on Saturday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Migrants who were left behind show the tokens allotted to them on Saturday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Left stranded at Pune station West Bengal-bound migrants finally board train home

After spending the night at the railway station, these migrants were finally provided seats and left for their hometown at 4pm on Sunday
Hindustan Times, Pune | By Shalaka Shinde and Pratham Gokhale
UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 04:15 PM IST

A group of migrants from West Bengal who were ferried to Pune station on Saturday, could not board the Shramik special train due to lack of space. After spending the night at the railway station, these migrants were finally provided seats and left for their hometown at 4pm on Sunday.

“On Saturday, hundreds of us were left stranded at the station, despite having the chits as token. We kept waiting till late in the night, but the police dispersed us stating that our train was cancelled. However, we saw some of the people who were with us board the train at 2pm,” said Saiful Islam, 22, who wanted to go Kolkata.

“We live in Kamshet and had signed up at multiple places in hope of getting a call from at least one place. We filed applications at Talegaon and Wadgaon,” said Saiful Haq, 20 who was travelling to Kolkata.

Rajeev Ghosh, 21, who was in the same group as Haq said, “We got a call from Talegaon tehsil office on Friday. We were given chits and asked to board the bus. We were made to wait at the station and were taken back in the buses. On Saturday, we got a call from Wadgaon and were ferried to the station again. Most people told us that the train was cancelled as we watched the people who had travelled with us here, get on trains and leave. The buses had left and we were to fend for ourselves at the station,” said Rajeev Ghosh, 21, who was to travel to his village after reaching Kolkata.

The problem arose when the labourers were left stranded at the station without clear instructions about whether a train was going to be arranged for them or not. They were provided with food and water for the night but left with no other choice but to sleep on the street or at the empty bus stop.

A train was finally arranged for them at 4pm on Sunday.

“We provide trains as per the requirement cited by the state and only those many people can board the train. These passengers must have been beyond the capacity of the train. So, as per the new requirement cited by the state, on Sunday, we merged them with passengers from Ahmednagar and made one train available,” said a railway official requesting anonymity.

So far, 2,04,695 people have left on 154 Shramik Special trains from Pune division, according to the office of divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar. Of the 154 trains, 61 were for labourers from Uttar Pradesh, 36 for Bihar, 15 for Madhya Pradesh, 13 for West Bengal, eight for Jharkhand, five for Chattisgarh, five for Rajasthan, two each for Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, and one each for Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Manipur and Assam.

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