While addressing its party leaders via video-conferencing on Tuesday, senior BJP leaders urged its leadership to not encourage migrant workers to leave for home as the government was looking towards reopening of industries now that the pandemic was receding from certain states. The BJP stated that if the migrant workers went back home now, then there could be a serious dearth of the labour force when the industries re-open and the economy tries to get back on track, as per sources.
"It can have severe consequences on the economy. The government is opening sectors in the economy in a graded manner. There is also a fear that these workers might not return soon causing a dearth of labour in urban and industrial belts," said a source in the party.
A senior leader of BJP said that while the central party leadership heard the state leadership patiently, it has been communicated to them to not encourage labourers to move out from their workplaces.
"There are two reasons for suggesting to not promote the sentiments of migration to villages. The first is related to the economy. It is understood that those workers going to villages will not return to cities in their workplaces for several months. This will not be good for the economy. Secondly, such mass movement also underlines the looming fear of COVID-19 spread in rural areas despite taking care of social distancing," added the source.
The Indian Railways has launched an initiative wherein special trains called as -- Shramik special trains-- will run from specific destinations to the hometowns of several stranded migrants, labour workforce, students, pilgrims, tourists and special requirements of persons amid the lockdown. According to reports, the state authorities and Indian Railways will work in a collaborative effort to minimize contact through special social distancing and running the trains at a set percentage of its capacity. The Centre will pay 85% and the state government will pay 15 per cent of the expenses.
(With Agency Inputs)