BENGALURU: Two days after a barrage of media reports and opposition protests on the plight of migrant workers, who were being forced to shell out exorbitant fares to get back home, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday finally announced free bus travel for them within the state. Poor labourers will be allowed free travel in State Transport Corporation buses till Tuesday.
The State Government’s decision to waive the fares for migrant workers came minutes after the state Congress unit offered to hand over a cheque for Rs 1 crore to KSRTC towards the expenses of migrant workers.
“After noticing the plight of daily-wage workers and migrant labourers, we have decided to let them travel for free for three days till Tuesday. They will be allowed to travel from district headquarters to their respective towns in KSRTC buses. The government will bear its cost,” the CM said in a statement.
BSY appeals to workers
CM Yediyurappa also appealed to workers not to gather in large numbers at the bus stations and to maintain social distancing for their safety.
Ahead of the CM’s announcement, KPCC president D K Shivakumar said the party will pay for the migrant workers’ tickets.
“We have been asking the government to ensure free travel of migrants who are already suffering financially. If the government is not able to do it, then Congress will. We are handing over Rs 1 crore to KSRTC to cover the travel cost of the migrants. We will provide more funds if necessary,” DK Shivakumar said.
The state-run KSRTC, however, refused to accept the cheque and asked for it to be donated to the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 relief fund.