The Aligarh railway station in western Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday (June 23) witnessed a massive gathering of hundreds of labourers and their families from adjoining districts, to board trains bound for Bihar where they work in brick kilns. Footage from cellphone videos shows zero social distancing at the station, at a time when COVID-19 cases in India are on a rise.
The videos show hundreds of labourers, including men, women and children, with sacks on their heads gathered outside the railway station, moving to enter the building slowly.
According to NDTV, another video showed many people sitting next to each other on the ground as the queue moves at a slow pace. Both videos clearly showed that no social distancing norms were maintained.
A group of policemen were directing a queue of labourers and their families inside the railway station, but without social distancing.
Rajvir Diler, BJP parliamentarian from the adjoining Hathras district, who was at the station to flag off the Bihar-bound train, was quoted as saying that when the crowd is huge and the space is less, this can happen. He added that they are trying to manage the situation.
Kuldev Singh, a senior government official present at the railway station stated that all three trains were going to Gaya in Bihar. They are trying to implement social distancing, but the labourers had a lot of luggage and many children were present at the station. The trains are being sanitised properly, he added.