Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 24 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday directed Deputy Commissioners and District Police Chiefs to ensure that no migrant is forced to walk home to any other State in the country or remain hungry while in Punjab.
Any migrant found walking on the road should be transported by bus by the police to the nearest place from where he can board a train or bus to his native State, the Chief Minister directed the DCs and the police officials, as per an official statement.
Urging the migrants not to panic, the Chief Minister has assured that the State government would make sure that every single migrant who is keen to return home is assisted by the State, with arrangements for their free travel and food.
Underlining the State's commitment to "look after every person in distress", Captain Amarinder described the migrants as "our fellow Indians who contribute to the State and its economy."
"Punjab is your karma-bhoomi, even if it is not your janam- bhoomi," said the Chief Minister to the migrants, appealing to them not to try to undertake the arduous journey by foot to their native place as the state government is making all necessary arrangements for their travel by trains or buses.
The Chief Minister disclosed that more than 10 lakh persons have registered on the State portal for outbound movement from Punjab. The State government has undertaken a massive validation exercise of all registered persons by making individual phone calls to re-ascertain whether or not they are keen to return to their native States.
"This is being done in view of the fact that, in the past 3-4 days, around two-thirds of the industrial units in the State have commenced operations after the easing of restrictions, following which the number of persons keen to travel out of Punjab has reduced considerably," he said.
The Chief Minister shared that the 300th Special Shramik train today departed from Patiala for Uttar Pradesh at 5 pm. By Sunday night, 311 Special Shramik trains carrying more than 3.90 lakh passengers would have been sent from different districts of Punjab to the various States of India, including States of southern India and the North-East.
In addition, migrant workers are also being transported free of charge from their homes to the railway stations by government buses across the State. Punjab has also sent State Transport buses to drop migrant workers to districts of western Uttar Pradesh without any charge to the migrants.
At the same time, the State government is also facilitating Punjabis stranded in other States to return to Punjab, including providing financial assistance for travel, wherever necessary. Captain Amarinder, however, expressed the hope that "all State governments will abide by their responsibility of transporting our persons stranded in other States."
The Chief Minister said he had already written to all concerned Chief Ministers in this regard. Punjab is the motherland of all Punjabis and it is our duty to bring them back to the State, said Captain Amarinder. (ANI)