|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

Delhi Anand Vihar Bus Stop: Chaos, confusion as hundreds of migrant workers rush to search for few buses | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: Chaos, confusion and a stampede-like situation prevailed on the Delhi-Ghaziabad border as hundreds of migrant workers struggled among themselves to get seats on the limited number of buses the Uttar Pradesh administration operated on Saturday to transport them inside.

Hundreds of migrant workers from Delhi, Haryana and even Punjab arrived in the Lal Kuan area of ​​Anand Vihar, Ghazipur and Ghaziabad after taking arduous, many-kilometer walks on foot to take buses to their respective native places.

But people, in hordes, outnumbered the seats on the buses, resulting in many of them riding on rooftops after every inch inside was crowded with passengers and their luggage.

The rules of social distancing seemed to have been discarded as they entered the buses. Some wore face masks, but most had scarves tied over their noses and mouths to protect them from infection.

The imposition of a national coronavirus blockade has left migrant workers with no means of earning a living, forcing them to make long journeys on foot to their remote homes in the absence of any means of transportation. Delhi and the industrial cities in the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab employ thousands of workers from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

Santosh Singh, 23, a Hardoi native in Uttar Pradesh, said he walked 110 km from Charki Dadri, where he works for a plastic unit.

Even after reaching the border, he was unable to sit on the bus and decided to walk another 20 km to Lal Kuan in hopes of getting on another bus.

At the border, hundreds roamed to get to buses to places like Lucknow, Hardoi, Barelli, Kanpur, Allahabad, Aligarh and Moradabad. But with no arrangements for orderly boarding or announcements, they rushed in every time a bus arrived.

A handful of policemen stood at the sides with batons, but did not intervene to regulate the massive crowds.

“We have no account of how many of them would have crossed (into Uttar Pradesh) since Wednesday, but they continue to come throughout the day,” said a police officer on patrol at the border. “The exodus peaked yesterday (Friday) but we were able to regulate its entry.”

Some of the workers PTI spoke to said they feared the closure would leave them without food or shelter and decided to walk home knowing that all public transportation had stopped.

The influx of workers led the Uttar Pradesh government to drive about 200 buses to take them home. But these buses were clearly very few and very late.

The government had announced Thursday that there was an amount of Rs 1.7 lakh crore free of food and cash for the poor, but many of the country’s roughly 12 million migrants simply cannot wait for benefits to start circulating.

Some workers hoped to get on the trucks carrying the basic items that are still allowed on the roads.

The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) is using 200 special buses to provide transportation facilities to people trapped in various locations in areas bordering Delhi.

“At the instructions of the Uttar Pradesh government, the UPSRTC is deploying buses to provide transportation facilities for people trapped at various points in the border districts of Delhi. Buses have started to arrive in Noida and Ghaziabad. About 200 buses will depart every 2 hours from 8 am onwards, “he read a letter written by UPSRTC Managing Director (MD) Raj Shekhar to management.

The letter said that the task of transporting passengers to their destinations in UP will continue until March 29.

Times of India