Migrants once again queue up to head home

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Last year, hundreds of migrant labourers had left the city on foot in the absence of public transport during the lockdown…reports Asian Lite News.

As Delhi went into a six-day lockdown amid the deteriorating COVID-19 situation, hundreds of migrant workers thronged at the Anand Vihar Bus Terminal on Monday evening to board the buses for their native places.

After the Delhi government imposed a week long lockdown from Monday night to curb the spike in Covid cases, in a replay of last year’s migrants crisis, a large number of people gathered at bus stations here on Tuesday to flee from the city, fearing the shutdown of the public transport may force them to walk hundreds of kilometers.

Last year, hundreds of migrant labourers had left the city on foot in the absence of public transport during the lockdown.

Hundreds of people including children, women and elderly queued up at Rajiv Chowk, Sector-12, Sector-34, Khandsa and Sector-37 bus stations on Tuesday with their belongings to head home leaving their jobs and employment back in the city.

Ram Lal, a migrant labourer waiting for a bus at the bus stand, told IANS, “I am going to the village in Bihar due to the lockdown, how can the poor man give rent and survive without earning. Due to lockdown in Delhi maximum employees of our company are working from home but we are helpers, we have no such facilities. Our company has been closed. I have to take care of my family. I will not come back here now.”

Migrants gather in huge numbers at anand vihar railway station as delhi government announced curfew till 26 April. (Pallav Paliwal)

Tulsi Kumar, another migrant labourer told, “I am going to my village in Uttar Pradesh. After the lockdown, work will be stopped, then how will I take care of myself and my family. I will come back after the situation becomes normal.”

The labourers could be seen at several bus stops across the city. At Sector-12 bus stop where only one bus heads towards Madhya Pradesh before the lockdown in Delhi, now after the lockdown four buses are heading for Madhya Pradesh.

Migrants gather in huge numbers at anand vihar railway station as delhi government announced curfew till 26 April. (Pallav Paliwal)

“We are paying Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 for our destination which is a huge amount, but we have no other option but to pay this amount as I just want to reach my native place at any cost rather than stay here without any work,” Rawal Singh told.

Like them, many others from various parts of the city are heading to the bus stands from where they will catch a bus to their villages.

However, majority of them said, this time corona fear is not in their mind, the only thing in their mind is how to reach home without walking on foot.

Migrants gather in huge numbers at anand vihar railway station as delhi government announced curfew till 26 April. (Pallav Paliwal)

It is estimated that nearly 20 per cent of labourers from Gurugram have left the district.

“The spike in Covid-19 cases is a worrisome concern for us but the lockdown in Delhi has panicked workers despite our request they are not ready to stay here. This will affect the industries a lot. Hundreds of workers have already left the city and more are going back. The industries are now facing labour crunch which will cause delays in productions,” Aman Khanna, an owner of an automobile unit told.

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