Gov’t admits that over 1 crore migrant labourers returned home on foot!

After failing to report data on migrant workers deaths and many frontline warriors of the pandemic Centre now suddenly talks about the number of migrant workers who returned home


The Ministry of Road transport and Highways on September 22 revealed that more than one crore migrant labourers walked to their home states between March and June, 2020.

During the Parliament’s Monsoon Session, Members of Parliament Jasbir Singh Gill, Doddaalahalli Kempegowda Suresh, Dean Kuriakose and Mohammad Jawed questioned the Centre about deaths of migrant workers in road accidents during the lockdown period.

In reply, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways V. K. Singh said, “As per provisional available information 81,385 accidents occurred on the roads including National Highways during the period March-June 2020 with 29,415 fatalities.”

However, the Union Minister reasserted the Centre’s shocking declaration that the Ministry does not maintain data on the number of migrant workers who died in road accidents during the lockdown.

When asked about the number of migrants who had travelled on foot during the lockdown, Singh said that the Covid-19 lockdown had resulted in the migration of a large number of workers. As per Centre’s data, more than 1.06 crore migrant workers, including those who travelled on foot during the lockdown, returned to their home states.

He said the Ministry of Home Affairs issued regular advisories to state and union territories to take all necessary measures to provide shelter, food, water, health facilities as well as counselling to migrant workers.

“This Ministry had assisted the movement of migrant labourers walking on foot on the various National Highways all across the Country by providing them food, drinking water, basic medicines and foot wears, etc. They were also provided with the resting places to take rest and assistance in terms of the arrangement of transport with the help of local administration to take them to the places nearest to their destinations,” he said.

Singh said that the Ministry’s orders on April 29 and May 1 allowed migrant workers to return to their native places by buses and Shramik special trains, respectively.



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