DEHRADUN: The first migrant train from Mumbai with 1200 people arrived in Lalkuan of Nainital district of Uttarakhand on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday.
The train arrived after the Uttarakhand high court on Monday directed the state government and the railways to present a plan to bring back over 2600 stranded migrants in Maharashtra.
Ganesh Kumar, 39, a migrant who arrived with his wife and two children said, "It is a big relief to finally arrive in my home state. Now we can at least live in our village with whatever little we have. I am thankful to the people who made this possible."
Kumar worked as an electrician in Mumbai and like many others lost his job due to COVID-19.
Earlier, a group of individuals, professionals and NGOs titled 'Pravasi Sahyogi Team' (PST) from Mumbai alleged that the Uttarakhand government is neglecting calls for help by the migrants. The team filed an application in the high court requesting it to direct the state government to do the needful.
Shveta Mashiwal, a member of the team, said, "We are thankful to the honorable court and those who made this possible. I hope now the migrants will have some respite and the Uttarakhand government will provide work to them."
The group in their application in the high court stated that no action has been taken by the Uttarakhand government to announce any relief train for migrant workers remaining in Mumbai.
The team stated that many of them either borrowed money and used rented vehicles or started towards Uttarakhand on foot, despite the directions of the Centre and Supreme Court in this regard as well as the assurances given before the High Court by the state government.
They added that most of these migrant workers living in Mumbai had lost their jobs and were facing several hardships with each passing day as they had no money to pay their rent and meet their day to day needs.