Chandigarh, May 5, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government has sanctioned Rs 35 crore, in the first phase, towards its share of the migrants’ cost of transportation by the Indian Railways.
The first special `Shramik Express’ train, carrying 1200 stranded migrants, left Punjab today for Daltoganj, Jharkhand.
The state government is estimating that 5-6 lakh of the stranded migrants could opt for train travel to return to their homes from Punjab, with the rest expected to go by road. Taking Rs 640 as the average ticket price, the State Executive Committee has approved Rs 35 crore as the initial amount needed. The funds have bene sanctioned under the National Disaster Relief Act, 2005.
According to an official spokesperson, 25% of the sanctioned amount has been transferred on immediate basis to the DCs, who have been authorized to pay to the Railways directly and give the tickets to the registered passengers. The remaining will be transferred to the DCs, who have been asked to prepared state-wise lists of stranded migrants wanting to go back to their native places, on a daily basis.
All the workers who wish to travel back to their homes have been enrolled on the state portal and the schedule of the trains with other relevant details are being communicated to them, via SMS.
As per available data, more than 6.44 lakh migrant workers interested in returning to their home states have registered on the state government’s specially created portal – www.covidhelp.punjab.gov.in.
The Chief Minister had on Monday written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking the commencement of the special trains for their transportation from May 5. In his letter to Shah, the Chief Minister had said that his government would indicate its daily requirement of trains in advance to the Ministry of Railways for the next 10-15 days to transport all the people who had registered on the portal.
State government officials are coordinating, on the ground, with senior Railway officers and the officers of recipient states to facilitate the smooth movement of the migrants.
A large number of labourers come to Punjab seasonally from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and other eastern States to seek temporary employment in both industrial and agricultural sector in Punjab. They could not leave in March, as they usually do, due to the imposition of the national lockdown.