Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to facilitate the return of migrant labourers stranded across different States, by trains while ensuring all safety protocols.
In the letter, Chowdhury wrote that the persons from his state of West Bengal are very much concentrated specifically in the southern states Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Western states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and other stranded, in Karnataka more than 80,000 people have been stranded as per a conservative estimate, let alone other states.
"In view of the magnitude of this supposed mass movement in so far as stranded persons are concerned, I think movements of trains will certainly be the best option which I have spelt out in my earlier communications to you. So, again I am pleading to facilitate the journey of those stranded persons by trains while taking all safety protocols," the letter further read.
In another letter written to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Chowdhury requested that without any delay immediate and effective measures should be taken so as to bring back those stranded persons. He further requested Banerjee to talk to Central Government so that the stranded persons could be brought back by trains. "I hope you will leave no stone unturned to bring back stranded persons as early as possible and thus obliged," he added.
Previously, on Sunday, Adhir Ranjan wrote to PM Modi seeking that migrant labourer in different parts of the country be allowed to travel free of cost to their destination by the Railways once the lockdown is lifted.
Earlier on Wednesday, giving a huge relief to people stuck in various states, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allowed movement of such people - including migrant labourers, workers, students, tourists and others - and also provided the procedure for the same.
With 1,823 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the last 24 hours and 67 deaths, India's total count of coronavirus cases has gone up to 33,610, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday. The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, which was to end on April 14, is now slated to end on May 3.
(With agency inputs)