A day after the Uttar Pradesh government said that a total of 16.50 lakh migrant workers have already returned to the state, sources said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is planning to send another 12,000 buses to ferry stranded migrants back home.
According to a report in NDTV, sources said that the chief minister has already asked state governments to provide lists of the migrants who need a transport to go back to their natives.
District magistrates will be provided 200 buses each to arrange for their travel which will add up to 15,000 additional buses, the report stated.
District authorities have been asked to provide food and water as soon as the migrants enter the state borders and urged them to ensure no migrant travels by foot or any other means of transport.
The Uttar Pradesh government has accepted Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadras proposal to run 1,000 buses to ferry migrant labourers back home to the state and sought the list of buses along with the names and other details of the drivers and conductors.
“The offer made to the chief minister through the letter on May 16 in connection with the migrant labourers has been accepted,” Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi said in a letter sent to the private secretary of Priyanka Gandhi.
“Therefore, the list of 1,000 buses, names and other details of its drivers and conductors be provided without delay so that these can be used for the migrant labourers,” the letter said.
The offer was made by the Congress general secretary in-charge of UP East through a letter which was given to the Chief Ministers Office by the state unit leaders of the party.
Earlier in the day, the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) hit back at the Uttar Pradesh government saying it was ready with the list of buses, as desired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, but was not getting time to meet him since the past three days.
“This is the list and name of buses that the Congress is seeking permission to run for ensuring the safe return of the migrant labourers. We had been seeking time to meet the chief minister since the past three days but he has no time for it. How will you know sitting in AC rooms the condition of poor labourers,” UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu said, showing a list to the media.
“These poor people have been forced to walk home without food,” Lallu said, adding he had gone to the CM’s Office with Priyanaka Gandhi’s letter for running the buses but got no reply from there.
Speaking to a news channel, Adityanath had sought the list of buses and the names of migrant workers.
To allegations that Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan and Punjab have not made proper arrangements for the migrant workers, Lallu said, governments of these states have sought permission to send migrants back who have got themselves registered and are waiting.
“If the UP government has buses and wants to bring the migrants back, then they should be used for thousands who have gathered at Ghaziabad, Noida and Rajasthan borders with UP. We are not making this offer with politics in mind but with sense of service,” Lallu said.
Our leaders have clearly stated that we are with the government in this hour of crisis and want to help it with a sense of service, the UPCC president said Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Misra, who was also present at the press conference, said the government “failed” to bring the migrants back safely and they were forced to walk home or take to unsafe modes of transport.
“If the labourers or workers of Uttar Pradesh have entered the state, whose responsibility is it to ensure their safe return to their homes? The Congress made this proposal when the chief minister failed to discharge his duty. We discharged the duty of a responsible party,” she said.
Misra accused the Uttar Pradesh government of betraying labourers after promising to bring them back. The migrant labourers walking back their homes are being baton-charged at differen places including Mathura, Jhansi and Yamunanagar border, she alleged.
(With inputs from agencies)