Social distancing violated as labourers boarded buses

Social distancing violated when labourers boarded buses.

Social distancing rules took a backseat as hundreds of migrant labourers boarded KSRTC buses to their respective villages on Wednesday night.

The district administration threw caution to winds by not practising social distancing rules while sending migrant labourers to their respective villages in KSRTC buses near Kuloor flyover on Wednesday night.

Migrant labourer Kuber, who reached his village near Gadag on Thursday afternoon, told DH his nightmare had finally ended. On Wednesday, he and other labourers were informed that buses taking them to Gadag would be parked near the DC's office. “On reaching Town Hall, the police threw our bags containing rice and chased us away,” he alleged.

Nearly 200 labourers, including Kuber, were forced to walk all the way to their home. Later, their 'contact’ informed them that KSRTC buses plying towards Gadag would pick up migrant labourers near Kuloor flyover. “We ignored our hunger pangs and walked as fast as possible to reach the Kuloor flyover,” Kuber said. 

Kuber’s bus going towards Gadag had just 26 passengers. However, KSRTC buses, plying towards destinations like Badami, did not follow social distancing rules and were crammed with passengers. A traffic cop, who had a tough time managing the crowd of hundreds of labourers, expressed helplessness. “There are fewer buses and hundreds of people ready to face any hardships to reach their villages,” he said.

Officials, including DC Sindhu B Rupesh, remained tightlipped when their attention was drawn to the violations in social distancing rules.

A KSRTC source said 130 buses, including 32 from Puttur division, with migrant labourers, left Mangaluru to different destinations.