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News Entry# 413173
Jul 06 (02:26) COVID-19: As India begins to 'unlock', Migrant workers flocking back to Mumbai for work (www.newindianexpress.com)
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News Entry# 413173  Blog Entry# 4662852   
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MUMBAI: With most states gradually lifting travel restrictions, many of the migrant workers who had left Maharashtra have started returning in the absence of employment opportunities in their native states.

According to the Maharashtra government, 26-27 lakh migrants had returned home by trains during the lockdown period.

“More
...
more...
than 26 lakh migrant officially left Mumbai by trains while many more left by road. Their total number could be more than 30 lakh in Mumbai alone. Migrant workers panicked due to rising Covid-19 cases and absence of work during the lockdown. Now, many of them are coming back,” said a senior government official.

A majority of the migrants who have returned are from Uttar Pradesh, that is, 1.91 lakh, followed by 83,515 workers from Bihar, 78,424 from Punjab, 58,363 from Rajasthan, 22,565 from West Bengal and 17,002 from Kerala.

“Over three lakh people have returned to Mumbai and many more are coming in. The railway is running limited trains and most of them are full. Once things are normal in Mumbai, there will be more migrants flocking to the city to earn their livelihood,” said senior government official.

Kripashankar Singh, former Mumbai Congress president, said, “Now that the Maharashtra government is reopening the economy, many factories and other small business like salons, auto and taxi services etc. have started. So, the migrant workers are coming back to resume work. Many people had their own business here, and they had not left permanently but only temporarily.”

Another leader who is from north India said since the migrants had gone back in massive numbers, it will not be possible for their home states to generate jobs for them on such a large scale.

“Besides, many of them were habitual to the lifestyle of Mumbai. It will be difficult for them to stay in some remote village of UP or Bihar,” said Rajkumar Singh.

Row over purchase of vehicles

The Maharashtra government is facing opposition heat for approving the purchase of six vehicles — Toyota Innova Crysta, each worth D22 lakh — for school education and sports departments at a time when it is struggling to pay salaries.

The vehicles are meant for ministers and ministers of state for school education and sports & youth affairs, secretary of school education and school education department staff.

The MNS demanded scrapping of the purchase order.
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