West Bengal govt will run 105 additional special trains to bring migrants back home: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal govt will run 105 additional special trains to bring migrants back home: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that her government will run 105 additional special trains to bring migrants workers from the state stranded in other parts of the country back home.

“Towards our commitment to helping all our people stuck in different parts of the country and who want to return back to Bengal, I am pleased to announce that we have arranged 105 additional special trains. Over the coming days, these special trains will embark from different states for various destinations across Bengal bringing our people back home,’’’the Chief Minister said in a tweet.


The tweet from the Trinamool Congress chief came a day after Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal accused West Bengal government of not allowing trains to ferry migrants wanting to return to the State from other corners of the country.


Goyal said that so far, only seven trains have departed for West Bengal, adding that arrangements have been made to ensure they return safely to their native places.


The Railway Minister said that rail transport has not picked up even after Union Home Minister Amit Shah wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last week on the subject. He even pleaded the States to ensure the smooth run of trains and not stop migrants from returning home.


"These are your people, why are you not allowing them to return? Please allow them to come, meet their families and if they wish to go back, allow them I'm confident that the economy will pick up, they will find jobs. Please don't politicize the issue and work unitedly."


It may be recalled that a war of words had erupted between the centre and the state government after Home Minister Amit Shah alleged Mamata Banerjee regime was not cooperating over migrant workers’ issue.


In his letter to Mamata, the Union Home Minister stated that the West Bengal government is not allowing trains carrying migrant workers to reach the state, which may further create hardship for the labourers.


In his letter, Shah said not allowing trains to reach West Bengal is "injustice" to the migrant workers from the state.


Referring to the 'Shramik Special' trains being run by the central government to facilitate the transportation of migrant workers from different parts of the country to various destinations, Shah said that the Centre has facilitated more than two lakh migrants workers to reach home.


The Home Minister said migrant workers from West Bengal are also eager to reach home and the central government is also facilitating the train services.


"But we are not getting expected support from the West Bengal. The state government of West Bengal is not allowing the trains reaching to West Bengal. This is injustice with West Bengal migrant labourers. This will create further hardship for them," Shah wrote in his letter to the Trinamool Congress chief.


The Centre and the Bengal government have clashed frequently amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country, with an IMCT (inter-ministerial central team), which visited the state to review its handling of the crisis, this week accusing Banerjee's administration of taking an "antagonistic view".