Facing flak, Karnataka resumes special train service for migrants

Writes to nine states, including UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and WB, seeking their consent to operate trains

More than 2 lakh migrant workers have so far registered on Karnataka's Seva Sindhu web portal to return home. Photo: PTI

A day after cancelling special trains for migrant workers, citing resumption of construction works in the state, the Karnataka government on Thursday (May 7) decided to resume inter-state train services. The move comes after the Opposition and labour unions slammed the state for acting against the rights of migrant labourers.

The government has written to nodal officers of at least nine states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, seeking their consent to operate trains to transport the stranded migrant labourers. It has planned to operate two trains to several states every day, starting from May 8.

While only Bihar has given its consent to receive migrants workers from Karnataka, the state has accepted to receive only one train a day from May 8 to 15. However, as a special train could ferry only 1,200 people, whether the state could transport all stranded migrants labourers is in question.

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According to reports, more than 2 lakh migrant workers have so far registered on the state’s Seva Sindhu web portal to return home. Besides, thousands of workers have not registered online due to restrictions in accessing the portal, Deccan Herald reported.

On May 6, the state came under fire after it appealed to migrant workers to stay as the construction works resumed. This came after Chief Minister Yediyurappa held a meeting with realtors and discussed the importance of resumption of construction, businesses, and other industrial activities in the state.

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