After receiving severe criticism over its decision, the Karnataka government has now withdrawn its previous order cancelling the 'Shramik Specials' for the migrants stranded in the state. The state government is set to start train services for migrants from May 8 to May 15. The government has also written to 9 states for their approval.
While Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have already accepted the consent letter, a response from Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tripura and Manipur is awaited.
The state government had met with severe criticism after it had cancelled the remaining trains to transport migrants despite the Centre's nod. Leader of Opposition in Karnataka had slammed Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa as he remarked on Wednesday that the sudden cancellation of trains is not only an 'inhumane decision' but also a violation of fundamental rights of the workers. Reportedly, the trains were cancelled on Tuesday after CM BS Yediyurappa held a meeting with construction builders in the state. Following the cancellation of remaining trains, CM Yediyurappa appealed to migrant labourers to remain in the state citing resumption of construction work in the state.
Meanwhile, in order to mitigate the losses to various other sectors, the Karnataka government on Wednesday announced ₹ 1,610 crore relief package for farmers, MSMEs, handloom weavers, flower growers, washermen, barbers, auto, and taxi drivers among others. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that the relief package will provide Rs 5000 to 230,000 barbers and 775,000 drivers in the state.
It will also provide Rs 5,000 each to more than 7.75 lakh auto-rickshaw drivers. Further, he said that flower growers will be given one-time compensation of Rs 25,000 per hectare. The Chief Minister also announced a new scheme, Weaver Samman Yojana (Nekarara Sammana yojana) for the benefit of the suffering weavers.