COVID-19 crisis: Maharashtra govt allows migrant workers walk home on humanitarian grounds
Mumbai, May 11: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the state government has decided to allow migrant workers wanting to return home on foot on basis of humanitarian grounds despite them violating lockdown norms.
Speaking to a news organisation, Deshmukh said the sufferings of the migrant workers would have been much less if they had train services commenced earlier. "It is true that migrant workers who are walking back to their home towns hundreds of kilometres away are in a way violating lockdown norms, but we are letting them go on humanitarian ground," the state Home Minister said.
In April, it was seen that hundreds of migrant workers gathered in Bandra station, demanding transportation arrangements for them to go back to their native places. However, the Police lathi-charged the workers to disperse the crowd.
"They (migrant workers) are so desperate to go home that they are ready to even face the wrath of law enforcement agencies. Hence, we decided not to be harsh with them. It is not alone my ministry but the government as a whole is trying to help them," the Home Minister said.
"During my visit to temporary shelter homes, a group of workers told me they might come back after Diwali, but now they want to go home," he added.
The state Home Minister added that the state government has borne the cost of transporting around 10,000 workers belonging to Madhya Pradesh who were in Telangana.
"The Telangana government dropped them at the Maharashtra border. Our government provided them shelter and food and later dropped them at the Madhya Pradesh border. The Maharashtra government did not charge anything for it," he said.