In response to the Centre’s advisory on the return of stranded migrants and others, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed all DCs to prepare state-wise data of migrant labourers to coordinate their movement, even as he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange for point-to-point special trains for the transportation of such persons. The Chief Minister also announced that one officer had been assigned to each state for coordinating the return of stranded migrants. During a video-conference with the state’s DCs and SSPs, the Chief Minister said he written to the Prime Minister concerning the transportation of the migrants. He pointed out that Ludhiana alone had over 7 lakh migrant labourers, with the whole of Punjab having over a million of them.
Though data was still being collected, approximately 70% of the labourers in Punjab hailed from Bihar, the Chief Minister said, adding that the movement of such large numbers was possible only through trains, with proper screening to be done at the time of departure. The Chief Minister asked the DCs to, in the meantime, start preparing a database of migrant labourers, state-wise, to ensure their smooth return. In response to concerns expressed over the shortage of food packets in some districts because of the extended lockdown, the Chief Minister directed the Food Department to increase the quota of rations to be distributed to migrants and non-smart cardholders. “Nobody should remain hungry,” he stressed.