Take care of migrant labourers from Bengal, Mamata Banerjee tells other State govts

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 26, 2020

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee   -  PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to 18 other Chief Ministers urging them to ‘shelter’ and ‘take care of’ migrant workers of the State who have been stuck because of the 21-day lockdown.

Addressing the respective Chief Ministers, Banerjee has maintained the migrant labourers from Bengal are stuck all across and respective State governments should help them out.

The State governments referred to are that of Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, Goa, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.

With train and inter-sstate bus services suspended in order to prevent spread of Covid-19, migrant labourers have been stuck in different parts of the country. Some of them are also stuck mid-way like at rail stations or bus depots and are awaiting transport services to resume.

State borders have also been sealed in many places and even truck movements are either restricted or stopped. In fact, there are reports of State governments refusing to accept or allow entry of people from other neighbouring States.

Banerjee has said that these migrant workers from Bengal can be easily identifiable and are in “groups of 50-100” people.

“We are getting SOS calls from them (these migrant labourers)… I take this opportunity to ask your administration to provide them with basic shelter, food and medical support during this period of crisis. We, in Bengal, are taking care of such people stuck in our state,” she wrote in the letter.

The Chief Secretary of West Bengal has been asked to compile a list of all such migrants stuck elsewhere and send the details to respective State governments.

A fresh notice issued later in the day said buses will be run by the state transport department on select routes and only for those working in “emergency services”. Not more than 20 people will be allowed at one go, keeping in mind social distancing norms Similarly, app-cabs like Ola and Uber will run “limited services” for “emergency and essential movement of people” to hospitals, funeral centres, medical stores, etc.

Corona case

Meanwhile, a fresh Covid-19 positive case was reported from West Bengal thereby taking the total number of affected to 10 (including one death).

The 66-year-old man, a Kolkata resident, has been admitted to a private hospital. While he reportedly does not have any immediate foreign travel history, the infected recently had been to a marriage party out of Kolkata. Doctors suspect some of his relatives present there had foreign travel history and he could possibly have been infected there. Contact tracing is being done, sources said.

Published on March 26, 2020

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