In Amritsar, 65K in queue to board Shramik trains - ECAS Punjab

In Amritsar, 65K in queue to board Shramik trains

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GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 17

Trials And Tribulations

  • As most of the migrants are neither digitally well-versed nor have smartphones, applying online is a challenge for them
  • If they manage to apply online, the next test is the 14-day wait for the confirmation of the seat
  • Some complained they received the SMS late and others said they were asked to return from the railway station in spite of having the reservation

  • Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla said: "The process of online registration and medical testing is mandatory."

It would take at least a month's time for the Amritsar administration to clear the existing list of around 65,000 migrants who expressed their desire to travel back to their home states in UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand.

It is estimated that around 2.25 lakh people hailing from UP, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal were settled in the holy city.

On May 7, the first Shramik train was chugged off from here with 1,180 migrants for Gonda (UP).

Till May 16, only 14,030 could be ferried back to their native places in 12 Shramik trains which ferried 10,650 migrants back to UP and 2,400 to Bihar and 980 to West Bengal. This implied that over 80 per cent migrants willing to go back were still awaiting their turn to occupy seat in the train.

Owing to the tedious registration process, coupled with restricted seats in Shramik trains, some of the desperate migrants arranged to travel back on their own.

Mahesh Verma of Parvasi wing of SAD said food was the major issue that forced them to leave on foot. "After lockdown, they lost their jobs and were looking for food. Barring the SGPC or local NGOs, the government relief kits were inadequate," he said.

After getting no call for Bihar-bound train for two weeks, Santosh said he sold his cart and pooled in with 10 others to engage a tempo to drop them back to Nalanda (Bihar).

"We were 11 persons, including two women and five children, hailing from Nalanda. Here we had no food, so we decided to sell our carts, rickshaws and household articles to arrange Rs80,000 to pay tempo traveller owner. As soon as we managed to procure emergency exit pass, we left on May 11 and reached home on May 13," he said.

Shyam Yadav, Parkash Yadav and Hari living in Gali No 7, Karampura, who were engaged with a catering firm here, said they got themselves registered 15 days ago to go back to Patna, but till date their seats were not confirmed.



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