A day before train leaves, workers throng Bathinda railway ground
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.”
1,200 LEAVE FROM AMRITSAR
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.
MOHALI SENDS 1,304 HOME
The seventh special train on Wednesday left the Mohali railway station carrying 1,304 migrant workers back to Bettiah in Bihar.
12 FROM HOSHIARPUR START WALK TO UP, INTERCEPTED
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.