Bengaluru, May 23 (IANS) Migrant workers from north and north-east states, including Manipur, descended in thousands on Palace grounds in the city centre to board special trains to their native places on Saturday.
"As the sprawling Palace grounds is in the city centre with lot of open space, the migrants assemble here for boarding buses to the railway station where they will board the special trains to their home states after screening and checking," a state nodal officer told IANS.
As per the standard operating procedure of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, migrant workers wishing to go back to their home state have to register their name and other details on Karnataka's dedicated portal (Seva Sindu) to enable the state government arrange special trains with the South Western Railways from a designated station in compliance with the lockdown guidelines.
"About 1,80,594 migrants have been sent till Friday in 128 Shramik (labourer) trains since May 3 from Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Bellari and Hospeta across the state to dozen northern and north-eastern states in coordination with the respective states," said the official.
After Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday tweeted that the state government would bear the train fare of migrants going to their native place from Karnataka, the portal has seen a surge in the registration with hundreds of migrants ready to catch the earliest train to their home state.
"The migrants are intimated through an SMS to their mobile number to assemble at the grounds 2-3 hours early for screening and taking them in special buses to the designated station from where their special train will depart," said the official.
The zonal railways has arranged a dozen Shramik trains through the day to ferry the migrants, including distressed workers, students, pilgrims, tourists and others who have been stranded over the last two months since the lockdown was enforced on March 25 and extended four times till May 31 to contain the coronavirus spread.
"As on all other days, the Shramik trains will leave from Bengaluru station to various states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Odisha, carrying about 1,400-1,500 migrants in each train in coordination with the state government," a railway official told IANS.