New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) Around 1,200 migrants from Bihar forced to stay in shelter homes in Delhi in the wake of a nationwide lockdown since March 24 midnight left for their home state on a special train here on Friday.
The Delhi government said it will bear their travel expenses as their home state had “not responded on who would bear the travel cost”.
“As per the current guidelines, the central government and the home state of migrants should bear the cost of their travel. The Delhi government has already reached out to the respective states with lists of migrants stranded in Delhi. Most of these states are yet to respond on who will bear the travel costs. Therefore, the Delhi government has taken the decision to bear the expenses to avoid any further inconvenience to the stranded workers,” Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said.
The special train departed from the New Delhi railway station for Muzaffarpur at 3 pm, with the city government ensuring social distancing and food and water for all passengers.
The Delhi government is working round the clock to ensure safe travel of all the stranded workers, he said.
Rai also said that the state government had arranged several buses to ferry these workers to the railway station from shelters across Delhi.
“Teams of doctors were appointed to screen them and after thorough check-ups, medical certificates were issued to them. The Delhi government also ensured today’s lunch along with water bottles for the train journey. All the people were given food packets apart from dry fruits, biscuits, and bananas.”
To ensure social distancing, the Delhi government permitted only 12 people on each bus that brought the migrants to the railway station. “Thermal screening of passengers was also done before they boarded the buses.”
Civil defence volunteers were appointed at each bus, the government said in a statement.
“The volunteers distributed masks to every passenger and instructed them to ensure social distancing during travel. The volunteers also asked them to wash their hands thoroughly from time to time. Medical certificates and tickets were given to the passengers once they reached the railway station,” the Delhi government said.
On Thursday, a train carrying 1,050 migrants left Delhi for from Madhya Pradesh.