Railway Minister Piyush Goyal accused West Bengal government of not allowing trains to ferry migrants wanting to return to the State from other corners of the country informing that so far, only seven trains have departed for West Bengal. Speaking to Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on the migrant exodus, Goyal said arrangements have been made to ensure they return safely to their native places.
"I want to tell all migrants, PM Modi has specifically asked me to ensure trains to ferry you back home. We can run 300 trains daily and have kept 1,200 trains ready to take you home. But some states are not allowing trains to come. So many trains have gone to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, but West Bengal is not cooperating and not giving approvals for the train to run," Piyush Goyal said.
#SwadeshiKranti | I've geared up 1200 trains ready, wanting to run - we can run 300 trains, daily. But states like West Bengal are not cooperating and giving approvals for train to run: @PiyushGoyal, Union Ministerhttps://t.co/jghcajZuXf pic.twitter.com/Wegh5A84Bh— Republic (@republic) May 13, 2020
The Railway Minister said noted that rail transport has not picked up even after Union Home Minister Amit Shah wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last week on the subject.
"Till May 9, only two trains — one from Ajmer in Rajasthan and other from Ernakulam in Kerala — went to the State. When Home Minister wrote the letter (to CM), we were told that eight trains have been given permission on May 8. Yet, only five trains have run. Till 3 pm today, only seven trains have departed for Bengal," Goyal said.
#SwadeshiKranti | Maharashtra has sent a list of 17 trains to be sent to West Bengal but we are not getting approvals from Bengal Govt: @PiyushGoyal, Union Ministerhttps://t.co/jghcajZuXf pic.twitter.com/GwUyZYKRmx— Republic (@republic) May 13, 2020
He pleaded the States to ensure the smooth run of trains and not stop migrants from returning home. "These are your people, why are you not allowing them to return? Please allow them to come, meet their families and if they wish to go back, allow them I'm confident that the economy will pick up, they will find jobs. Please don't politicize the issue and work unitedly."