Lockdown: Day after UP govt’s order, migrants on foot stopped at Delhi border by police – noida
Hundreds of migrant workers arrived on foot at Ghazipur in Delhi near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border on Sunday morning to cross into Uttar Pradesh, hoping for authorities to make arrangements for them to travel in buses or trains for onward journey to their homes. This led to a build-up at the Delhi-UP Gate near Indirapuram when police stopped them from entering Ghaziabad.
The Yogi Adityanath government had on Saturday asked police and administrative officials to ensure that no migrant worker travelled on foot or in vehicles such as trucks after 24 migrant workers were killed in UP’s Auraiya district when the truck they were travelling met with an accident in the early hours of Saturday morning. Sixteen of the dead had boarded the truck in an area under the jurisdiction of the Indirapuram police station in Ghaziabad.
On Sunday, the police stopped the migrant workers at the UP-Gate border while they were trying to cross over to Ghaziabad in UP. Most of those who gathered there were people who had been working in Delhi and now wanted to go back to their states due to the lockdown.
Ghaziabad police said that they could let migrants to enter as they were on foot and only those having valid train tickets would be allowed to enter.
“We have not allowed them to walk on the highway and only those having valid train tickets will be allowed in. We have also not allowed any vehicles carrying migrant workers into Ghaziabad. Any such vehicles which have been spotted have been stopped and workers were made to de-board. Such vehicles like trucks will also face legal action,” said Anshu Jain, circle officer (Indirapuram).
The migrants complained that they couldn’t make train reservations since many of them didn’t know how to do online booking.
“We were made to sit at the border and not allowed to enter Ghaziabad from where we hoped to get on to some buses or trains to our hometown in Bihar. We don’t have any work now in Delhi and we need to go home now. We are not able to book train tickets online as many of us either don’t know how to do it or have mobile phones to do it,” said Iftekhar, a migrant from Purnia in Bihar who worked at Azad Market in Sadar Bazar area of Delhi.
“There were people who even asked us for Rs 3000 to get the train tickets booked. We do not have so much money. So we decided to come to Ghaziabad and are now stranded at the border,” he added.
Like Iftekhar, Tauseef also worked in a small factory in Delhi’s Sadar Bazar and was making curtain rings of late.
“My factory has also shut tdown and the only way we can survive is to go home. But we are now stuck at the border while hundreds of migrant workers like us have already moved to UP and headed to their hometown. When we arrived here on Saturday afternoon by a bus which was headed to Noida, the cops stopped the bus and made us de-board,” said Tauseef who is native of Arariya in Bihar.
“There were hundreds of migrant workers like us at the UP border but many escaped by walking alongside the (Hindon) canal area. We know that buses and trains are going from Ghaziabad but we are stranded here and have no means to book online tickets. Many migrant workers came to the border by dodging Delhi police. Although we were stopped at the border but food was provided to us,” he added.
Later in the day, as hundreds of workers started coming in UP, authorities took them to different shelter homes in Ghaziabad from where their travel arrangements are being made.
The UP government has given permission for operation of Shramik Special trains from Ghaziabad and Noida and trains have been running from these stations since May 15.
The Uttar Pradesh government officials on Saturday said that 449 trains have arrived from other states while permission for another set of 286 trains has been given.
“Within next 2-3 days when these trains arrive, about 9.5 lakh migrant workers eould have arrived in UP,” said Awanish Awasthi, UP’s additional chief secretary (home).
The train services are free of cost for migrant workers but they have to register online and wait for an SMS which is sent by the state government for clearance of their train travel.
Apart from the trains, UP roadways is also plying buses to different districts of the state. The UP Roadways till Saturday evening had sent about 600 buses to different areas from Morta in Ghaziabad with a seating capacity of 35 passengers as an average.
The bus services have been operational for past one week and will continue for migrant workers.
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