Huge crowd of migrant workers gathered outside the Bandra railway station in Mumbai earlier today to board a “Shramik special’ train to Bihar. Only people who had registered themselves (about 1000) were allowed to board, rest were later dispersed by police. unprecedented scenes have been witnessed at Mumbai’s Bandra Railway station after thousands of migrant labourers gathered at the station.
As per initial reports, the migrants were informed that special trains will be running from the Bandra railway station for labourers. Initial reports suggest that migrant labourers have started arriving at Bandra railway station at around 9 am but in just few hours, there were around 4,000 – 5,000 labourers present at the station. Sources also said that migrants had received phone calls from police station informing about special trains being arranged for them from Mumbai. Hundreds of migrant workers were seen standing in long queues in order to catch the Shramik Special train to Bihar on May 19.
Officials say around 230 trains carrying close to 3 lakh migrants have run from various parts of Maharashtra since May 1. Of these about half the trains have been run from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. The maximum number of passengers allowed to travel on each of the 24-coach train has been set at 1,200 to comply with the social distancing norms.
Ram Lal a migrant who had to return back after standing for hours in the queue told AV, “We don’t know how to do online registration, moreover need lot of money to buy data and internet usage, we are five members, the form has limited number of recipients, government should start some physical counter for ticket booking for the people like us”
Bhavri Devi said, “I have paid extra money to computer agent who did out booking, it’s been seven days but no confirmation. We have to visit the person again and again with our queries” I am feeling cheated and lost. Needs to go home as early as possible”.
Meanwhile, reports of huge crowd of migrant labourers gathering at Chandigarh and Bhopal railway stations have also been surfaced, according to a news agency.
As the Bandra railway station administration, police officials continue to remove migrants from near the station, four people have been arrested who are accused of spreading the rumour about special trains being run for migrants willing to travel to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar.