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Karnataka cancels special trains, halts exodus

On May 3, the first migrant train left Chikkabanavara railway station for Bhubaneswar.

Published: 06th May 2020 06:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2020 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala is likely to witness a counter-migration soon, with 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh Malayalis returning home jobless from West Asia alone by September owing to the Covid-19, said migration expert S Irudaya Rajan.

Kerala is likely to witness a counter-migration soon, with 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh Malayalis returning home jobless from West Asia alone by September owing to the Covid-19, said migration expert S Irudaya Rajan.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With states like West Bengal and Bihar reluctant to receive migrants due to lack of preparedness, and Karnataka’s own keenness to restart construction activities, the BS Yediyurappa-led government has decided not to run any more migrant special trains from Karnataka. The decision came on a day marked by hectic developments and is also part of the state’s efforts to ensure that migrant workers do not leave the state, and thereby help bring about a semblance of normalcy.

On May 3, the first migrant train left Chikkabanavara railway station for Bhubaneswar. Over the past three days, 8,586 passengers were transported to Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Odisha in eight trains with almost all the 1,200 seats in every train taken up.

There was a proposal to run 10-15 trains to Bihar for five days from May 6, to send back around 25,000 workers from that state based on their demand to return home. A top State Government source told The New Indian Express, “We have decided not to run any more migrant special trains from Wednesday.”

‘Decision taken after CM’s meet with builders’

“This follows a meeting held by the CM with builders as well as representatives from other sectors which depend on the migrant workforce, including from Bihar,” a source said. A top railway official confirmed that there are no migrant trains on Wednesday. “We are usually informed the previous night about the trains scheduled for the next day. We were told there will be no trains for now.” Earlier in the day, the state government asked Bangalore Railway Division to be prepared to run at least 10 trains to Bihar. “Due to the lack of rakes, the division was contemplating bringing them from Hubballi and Mysuru.

But Bihar railway authorities said they were not in a position to carry out medical checks for a vast number, and three trains was the maximum they could deal with,” a source said. Nearly 3,500 migrant labourers, most of them from Bihar, housed at BIEC on Tumakuru Road since Monday night, were told to leave. “By the end of the day, we told all workers to leave. We have assured them that their factories and workshops are about to restart and they will be employed soon. The BIEC is empty now,” he added.



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