Maharashtra calls on 6 states to recover stranded 3.5L migrants | Mumbai News
The Himachal and Haryana governments also sent Kashmiri and UP workers to their home states by bus on Saturday. A total of 3,800 Punjab, Haryana and Delhi pilgrims who arrived in Nanded on March 23, a day before the national closure was established, have been trapped in Nanded.
While the first batch left on buses on Friday, the Punjab government dispatched 80 buses on Saturday that are expected to arrive in Nanded on Sunday and transfer the other pilgrims. The buses will cover a distance of 3,300 km. Each bus has three drivers, a driver, and a police officer.
Mehta reportedly told his counterparts in the other states that if they agreed, the Maharashtra government would drop migrants from their states at the borders of those states. Similarly, Maharashtra workers stranded in other states could be dropped off at the state border.
Coronavirus pandemic: live coverage
A senior bureaucrat told TOI: “Ajoy Mehta raised this issue during a video conference with the Union cabinet secretary. Mehta suggested that states take responsibility for the repatriation of migrants. ”
CM Uddhav Thackeray had reportedly discussed the matter with the NDA government and the visiting core team, but there was no response. More than 1,500 migrants had gathered on April 15 at the Bandra train station after rumors circulated that long-distance trains had been restarted.
Takht Sri Hazur Sahib is one of Sikhism’s holiest places. After the extension of the national blockade, the stranded pilgrims contacted Punjab CM Singh, who spoke to Thackeray.
Thackeray told Singh that he had no objection to the pilgrims’ return, but that he would require permission from the central government in view of the national closure. CM Punjab then discussed the matter with Amit Shah, who granted permission for the transportation of the pilgrims as a special case. After the chief secretary-level talks between Punjab and Maharashtra, permission was granted and the Nanded collector was ordered to issue a travel pass to the Sikhs.
“We have asked pilgrims to follow the rules of social distancing on buses. Consequently, against the capacity of 52 passengers, only 35 will be allowed on each bus. We believe that to send 3,800 pilgrims back, they may require more than 100 buses, “said the bureaucrat.
Before the pilgrims got on the bus on Friday, they underwent a medical exam and were allowed to go alone after testing negative for the new coronavirus. “After arriving at their destination, we expect them to remain in quarantine for 14 days,” said the official.