Only Trains To Bring Back Migrants From Surat

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced that Odia migrants seeking a return from Surat will be able to do so only if they travel by train. The order came after three separate road accidents took place involving buses carrying migrants from different parts of the country.

In addition to accidents, Patnaik’s decision was also influenced by the potential difficulty returnees would face, especially women and children, in travelling over 1600 km by road.

An estimated 3 lakh Odia workers are stranded in Surat. Distress amongst the migrants began soon after the nationwide lockdown 2.0 was announced. Thousands of them emerged on the roads of Surat demanding to be taken back home. To resolve this issue, Patnaik held a meeting with Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani to discuss the task of transporting migrants back to their home state.

To quicken the process, the state government had allowed both trains and buses to be used to carry the returnees. Two Shramik specific trains had already helped around 2,400 workers to come back home from Surat.

Chief Secretary AK Tripathy had also stated that about 87 buses had been registered to bring back migrants to the state, but with these new orders, the rest of the bus journeys will now be cancelled.

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