Run non-stop trains to bring back students and migrant workers, Bihar govt urges Centre
"Around 27 lakh residents of Bihar, stuck in other parts of country, have applied for assistance and most of them are at distant places. A bus will take six to seven days to bring them back," he said
PATNA: Though the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed students, migrant workers and tourists stuck outside Bihar to return home during the ongoing lockdown, around 27 lakh people from the state continue to be stranded in different parts of the country.
On Thursday, Bihar deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi made an appeal to the Centre to run special non-stop trains with catering facilities and proper social distancing to bring them back.
"Bihar will welcome all of them but it would not be practical to bring them back from distant places by buses because of the distances between Bihar and those places and safety reasons like social distancing," he said.
"Around 27 lakh residents of Bihar, stuck in other parts of country, have applied for assistance and a majority of them including labourers and students are at distant places. A bus will take at least six to seven days in bringing them back," he said.
The state government has made all arrangements for welcoming the returnees including providing quarantine, he said, adding that Pratay Amrit, principal secretary of the state disaster management department, has been made the state's nodal officer to supervise the operation to bring the people back.
According to an estimate, around 5 lakh students, migrants and others from Bihar are stuck in Delhi alone and have applied for assistance to the Bihar CM. Similarly, 2.68 lakh people in Maharashtra, over 1 lakh in Karnataka, 1,87,754 in UP, 2.96 lakh in Haryana, more than 2 lakh in Gujarat, 1.52 lakh in Punjab, 87567 from Rajasthan, 99,221 in West Bengal, 32846 in MP, 87890 in TN and thousands in others are waiting to return to Bihar.
He said that all those who come back home would be welcomed and provided quarantine facilities in their blocks or at the state-border based centres. Till date, 1.8 lakh migrants and others have already returned to Bihar since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the total count of COVID-19 cases in the state has reached 409.