Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, June 1
Of the 2,000 migrants called to board the 77th Shramik Special train heading to West Bengal from Jalandhar today, only 500 turned up.
While the 12 pm Shramik Special train to Jalpaigudi in West Bengal chugged off today after a gap of about a week, with the majority of the migrants having been sent off in previous trains, the train to West Bengal went out nearly empty today.
Of the 500 who turned up to board the train to Jalpaigudi in WB, only 150 were from the city while the majority were from other neighbouring districts. As many as 150 passengers from Jalandhar and 200 from Hoshiarpur board the train. Residents from Ropar, Nawanshahr and Pathankot were also among the passengers.
Till May 25, 76 Sharmik Special trains ran from Jalandhar ferrying over 95,000 migrants from the district (of the 1.5 lakh registered) to Gaya, Madhubani, Purnia, Siwan Gorakhpur, Balliya, Buxar, Varanasi and other places. Of the 95,000, 8,000 to 10,000 people were from other districts. Labourers from Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Batala, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala were sent on trains in the past.
After the first run of the Shramik Special trains ended, migrants have also been boarding buses from the Jalandhar bus stand to go to Ludhiana to board trains from there. However, when the district administration sends messages to migrants, a few turn up.
Officials said after looking at the response to trains to Bengal, there were no plans to start anymore Shramik Specials soon.
ADC (G) Jalandhar, Jasbir Singh, said: “The majority of the migrants have already left. With most of the trains going almost empty, the decision to start next trains will only be taken as per demand. If any labourers are left and are wishing to go via trains, they can also be taken to Ludhaina through the bus service started by us. However, no labourers’ group has approached the SDM for that as yet.”
Babita Kler, Nodal Officer (Migration), said: “We had called 2,000 persons but only 500 turned up. Most of them were from Hoshiarpur and only 150 were from Jalandhar. Many of them willing to go now are from other districts. The number of migrants wiling to leave the city has seen a drastic decrease. Several workers who had previously registered did not turn up. Others were unwilling to go. The future Shramik Special trains will be run as per demand. The district administration will take a call on the same.”
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