TRS minister targets Modi over road travel for migrants

TRS minister targets Modi, says free trains for migrants should have been arranged'

At least 15 lakh workers from outside Telangana are estimated to be engaged in various works primarily in the construction sector

Narendra Modi file photo (Reuters Photo)

The Narendra Modi government should take the responsibility of migrant workers’ return home by arranging free trains to their states, said a TRS minister even as Telangana appointed a nodal officer for facilitation.

Respective states have to make transport arrangements for their people’s return.   

At least, 15 lakh workers from outside Telangana are estimated to be engaged in various works primarily in the construction sector and are especially concentrated in the capital Hyderabad.

“The central government has simply eased restrictions and washed its hands of the matter. For these workers to travel in buses as far as Bihar will take 3-5 days. Taking the responsibility, the centre should have arranged free rail travel for these hapless workers,” said Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Telangana’s animal husbandry and cinematography minister on Thursday.

 

Many of these workers, rendered jobless and without income since March last week, want to go home. Some of them, who set out on foot to their states as far as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh were stopped by the officials, providing food and shelter arrangements in various districts.

On Wednesday, around 2,000 laborers engaged for construction of buildings at the IIT Hyderabad clashed with cops damaging a police vehicle, while demanding their March salaries from the construction firms and permission to go home.  

Though the K Chandrasekhar Rao government had announced Rs 500 per every migrant and 12 kg rice relief, many allegedly did not receive the benefit.

Following the central government’s Wednesday’s fresh guidelines allowing interstate road movement of migrant workers, stranded tourists etc., the Telangana government has appointed a senior IAS as the nodal officer to facilitate all such movements.

A meeting headed by chief secretary Somesh Kumar to discuss their movement has devised a protocol for the purpose. Kumar said that they wrote to all states asking to furnish the details of people stuck in Telangana, while requesting those states to plan for their transport home.

Stranded people have to contact their respective state governments.  The Telangana nodal authority would facilitate other governments, while issuing passes for the migrants after their screening confirms no COVID-19 infection.  

In addition to Sandeep Sultania, secretary, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, as the nodal officer for the movement of stranded persons, the CS has also designated a senior IPS - Jitender, ADGP (Law & Order) as the police nodal officer since the movement requires police scrutiny and permissions at various check posts.