A day be­fore train leaves, work­ers throng Bathinda rail­way ground

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - SPOTLIGHT - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

BATHINDA: A day be­fore the Shramik Ex­press car­ry­ing 1,188 mi­grant work­ers is sched­uled to leave for Moti­hari in Bi­har at 11am on Thurs­day, around 1,500 mi­grant labour­ers crowded the rail­way ground near the sta­tion on Wed­nes­day. Thurs­day’s train will be the third ‘Shramik Ex­press’ from Bathinda. Usu­ally, only pas­sen­gers who get an SMS from the ad­min­is­tra­tion are al­lowed to board the train.

“With the crowd a po­ten­tial health haz­ard, the ad­min­is­tra­tion man­aged to shift them to other places,” said Bathinda SDM Amarinder Singh Ti­wana, adding that many of those who came on Wed­nes­day were from Ut­tar Pradesh and Jhark­hand.

“Over 1,500 had ar­rived on Wed­nes­day it­self and more are com­ing; around half of them were em­ployed with the Guru Gobind Singh Re­fin­ery. We are mulling mak­ing other ar­range­ments.”

Ajay Ya­dav of Bhojpur in Bi­har said he had walked 30km to reach the sta­tion in the hope of go­ing back. The SDM added, “De­spite our best ef­forts, some­times we have to get them to stand in a queue and take the re­quired num­ber to the sta­tion.”


In Am­rit­sar, around 1,200 mi­grants left for their na­tive places on the 7th Shramik Ex­press to Ambed­kar Na­gar in Ut­tar Pradesh. SDM Vikas Hira said, “All mi­grants were screened and given food packets. Around 8,000 have left since the trains started.” Of the labour­ers, 54 had come from Gur­daspur. A Shramik Ex­press will leave for Kan­pur from Ferozepur, the first from the district, on Thurs­day at 7pm.


The seventh spe­cial train on Wed­nes­day left the Mo­hali rail­way sta­tion car­ry­ing 1,304 mi­grant work­ers back to Bet­tiah in Bi­har.


Twelve mi­grant work­ers, out-of­work for two months, set out on foot for UP on Wed­nes­day, only to be in­ter­cepted 25km away in Hoshiarpur city and sent back to their tem­po­rary abode. Ram Din, Raj Ku­mar, Nakul, Bharat and Avd­hesh said they worked as daily wa­gers with the for­est de­part­ment and had reg­is­tered with the ad­min­is­tra­tion for trans­port, but frus­trated at not get­ting a call.


Mi­grants wave at cops as they leave in a Shramik Spe­cial train for Bi­har from the Pa­tiala rail­way sta­tion on Wed­nes­day.

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