BENGALURU: As there will be a complete lockdown in place from Monday, migrant workers made a beeline for KSR railway station en masse to leave the city for their hometowns on Sunday. A large number of families congregated in small groups very close to each other on the footpaths and parking areas without social distancing.
The New Indian Express spoke to a few of these labourers and found that a majority of them were headed toward the eastern states and North Karnataka. Some passengers waited for even up to a day in advance to board their train. A few were pleading for tickets at the counters unaware of the fact that only reserved tickets were permitted for long distance trips.
Mohammed Rafiq, who was leaving for Kalaburagi with his wife, three-year-old daughter, mother and brother, was at the station by 6 pm for a 11 pm train. "I was working for a construction firm in Electronic City. How will I sustain my family if we do not have work from tomorrow?" he asked.
Mohammed Akram and Zeesha were employees at a salon in HSR Layout. "We did not have much work the past one week and looks like we will not have work for sometime. So, we are going back to our hometown in Uttarakhand via Delhi," they said.
Akash Das, who hails from Kolkata native, was heading to work for a granite firm in Goa. "I am going to a city that will give me work," he said. A railway official said they stopped issuing platform tickets from 2 pm on Sunday but it was resumed from 8 pm.
"Some of them tried to buy platform tickets. They were hoping to somehow travel with just this ticket and reach their hometown. As this would defeat the idea of social distancing, Railways decided to stop issuing platform tickets," said an official.