Leader of Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help the migrant workers stranded in several States and Union Territories across the country. The Congress leader has written to the Prime Minister stating that he has been receiving distress calls from migrants of West Bengal especially from his constituency Baharampur who are stuck in different areas.
"People are stranded without food, water, medicine and even air to breathe, informed that they are accommodated in large numbers inside rooms without ventilation where Mercury rose to 41 degrees Celsius. I would sincerely request you to think about some possible solutions to help our Indian citizens to return to their homes after this period safely," Chowdhury said in his letter to the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
The nationwide lockdown which was previously scheduled to end on April 14, has been further extended to May 3, in view of the rising number of cases of the infection. Chowdhury's appeal comes days after thousands of migrant workers gathered on Tuesday at Bandra in Mumbai after falling prey to a rumour of trains being organised for them to travel to their native places in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, among other states. While flouting the social distancing norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the migrant workers demanded that the state government make transport arrangements so that they can go back to their native towns and villages. After the initial efforts to convince the workers to return back, the police then had to resort to lathi-charge to clear the area.
Earlier, similar incidents took place in Delhi when thousands of migrants hit the roads after rumours were floated of bus services arranged by the government to facilitate their travel from the national capital to their respective native places. Also, the Bandra incident has occurred despite the prime minister's assurance on the same day to the daily wage earners that the government acknowledges their sufferings and it is making all efforts to provide the necessities to them during the crisis of COVID-19.
The number of COVID-19 positive cases in India is rising at an alarming rate. As on April 16, the cases had risen to 12,380 of which 414 have succumbed to the infection while 1,488 have recovered and discharged with 10,477 cases still active, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(With ANI inputs)