New Delhi: With covid-19 cases surging at an alarming pace in India, preventing reverse migration workers seems to be the topmost priority of PM Modi this time.
In order to tackle any panic situation that may arise amid rise in new cases, the government, including local administration and railways, are working on an elaborate plan to prevent the exodus of labourers from major cities, including Mumbai.
Local administration in industrial pockets of Mumbai and other metros have been asked to approach factory management, labour unions and concerned groups to convince the migrant workers not to get scared of the sudden resurgence, said top sources in the government as reported by ANI
The Prime minister's office is concerned about the migrant workers and wants to prevent the mass exodus of workers which resulted in the loss of jobs and human miseries last year.
On Wednesday night, several hundred migrant workers had flocked to the railway stations at Bandra, Dadra and Churchgate, triggering fears that a mass exodus has started and may affect production in factories. However, the concerned authorities said that platforms were crowded mainly due to the summer rush.
"I have spoken to IG, RPF Central Railway and IG, Western Railway in Mumbai. I want to clarify that groups of workers stayed at different railway stations because of the night curfew in Mumbai. They returned to their factories when curfew was lifted. The rush seen at platforms was mainly of waitlisted passengers boarding summer special trains," said Arun Kumar, Director General (DG) of the RPF.
He informed IANS that all efforts are being made to allay fears relating to the reverse migration of workers.
"Our officers at the Western and Central Railway are coordinating with CP (Railways, Mumbai Police) and concerned authorities in industrial areas. They are being apprised of Covid protocols. Meanwhile, additional special trains are being run to take care of the usual summer rush.," Kumar, a 1985 batch UP cadre IPS officer, said.
On Thursday, the DG and a team of senior officials held an important meeting with Chairman, Railway Board to further review the situation in Maharashtra, primarily Mumbai, a major railway hub in India presently facing the highest spike in cases relating to the pandemic.
During March 2020, when trains and local transport were shut down due to nationwide lockdown, several lakhs of migrant workers were seen moving to their home town on foot
"This time we are on alert. The government doesn't want this to happen again. All-out efforts are being made at every level to prevent large scale migration of labourers. In a Covid affected economy, the health of factory workers as well as the country's industrial production is our top priority," a senior officer said.
(With IANS inputs)