Chief Minister’s Secretary Ashwini Kumar said,
During the lockdown, 5.50 lakh foreign workers have been taken out of Gujarat in 209 trains from across the state till May 11, 2020.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has done a great job of running Shramik Special Trains from Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat.
As of May 8, 2020, 461 labor trains had run from across the country. In which 45% from Gujarat i.e. 209606 trains have been run. Maharashtra accounts for 61 per cent, Telangana 27 per cent, Punjab 49 per cent and Gujarat 209 45 per cent.
The 209 trains running from Gujarat include 147 for Uttar Pradesh, 23 for Bihar, 21 for Orissa, 11 for Madhya Pradesh, 6 for Jharkhand and 1 for Chhattisgarh.
50 trains from Ahmedabad, 72 trains from Surat, 16 trains from Vadodara, 16 trains from Rajkot, 12 trains from Morbi, 12 trains from Palanpur, 6 trains, 5-5 trains from Nadiad-Jamnagar, 4-4 trains from Anand and Godhra, 3-3 trains from Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Navsari, Vapi and others. One or two trains have been run from the districts. As many as 2.56 lakh laborers have been repatriated.
- Workers be brought to their respective home district and state immediately, free of cost with safety and dignity. Those in transit should be allowed to reach the home state where they can be quarantined, in the village school/ panchayat with all facilities.
- Fully equipped quarantine centres be set up at all main entry points of state and districts for returning migrant workers. Covid-19 guidelines and protocols should be strictly followed, including physical distancing, PPE kits and nutritional requirements.
- Stringent actions should be taken on touts and corrupt officials who are charging migrants money for the travel or medical certifications.
- Free transportation to be provided from quarantine centres to respective villages.
- Minimum and immediate cash support of Rs 5,000 should be provided to every migrant worker who enters the home-state.
- Workers must be provided clear details of train and bus schedules and a proper mechanism for communicating the same in multiple languages must be put in place. Home states and host states must bring forth clear and simple protocols, including off-line registration and a state-wise toll free, 24×7 functional helpline exclusively for migrant return. Neighbouring home and host states must co-ordinate to ensure bus travel for workers.
- Strict instructions to police must be given to not ill-treat, harass or beat the workers under any circumstances. Instead, on-ground officials must have adequate information, so that the same can be conveyed to the workers. All workers who are stranded in host state, must be ensured food and shelter until the date of return journey.
- Arrangements for food and help / information desk on all major highways, railway stations should be made.
- The Government must come up with long term ‘Migrant Workers Action Plan’, since a very large number of them have lost livelihoods and are rendered impoverished due to the lockdown.
- The Government must universalize dry ration delivery, through PDS, at least for the next 6 months. Likewise, State must ensure all workers are paid full wages for the entire duration of lockdown and contractors are held accountable.