KOLKATA: The West Bengal government is arranging 10 special trains to bring back over 30,000 residents of the state stranded in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Punjab due to the ongoing lockdown, a senior official said on Saturday.
The stranded people are mostly migrant workers, patients and their attendants, students, pilgrims and tourists from West Bengal, he said.
"Talks are on with officials of other state governments in this regard. Everything has been finalised. Our nodal officers are monitoring developments," the official told PTI.
A total of 31,224 people are stranded in the four states, of whom more than half (17,000) are in Telangana, he said.
A train will reach Malda from Telangana tomorrow. 6000 inbound passes for small cars have been approved, State Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay confirmed.
Three trains carrying around 7,500 people from West Bengal will start their journeys from Bengaluru in Karnataka on Saturday and reach their destinations -- Bankura, Purulia and New Jalpaiguri stations -- in the state on Sunday and Monday, the official said.
Two trains with around 2,418 people, mostly patients, will depart Vellore in Tamil Nadu on Monday and reach Kharagpur and Howrah railway stations in the state on Tuesday, he said.
The official said two trains have been arranged for bringing back the people stranded in Punjab.
"One train will leave the northern state for Bandel railway station in Hooghly district on Sunday and another will leave for Durgapur in West Burdwan district on Monday," he said.
The official said the 17,000 stranded people in Telangana are expected to board West Bengal-bound trains next week.
"The 17,000 people stranded in Telangana are mostly labourers from Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, East and West Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas and Bankura districts employed in the construction sector, mainly in sites in Hyderabad," he said.
The state government had last week facilitated the return of over 1,000 students from Rajasthan's Kota.