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TN CM says 9,000 guest workers sent home; more to go in a week


Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

A total of 9,000 guest workers stranded in Tamil Nadu due to coronavirus lockdown have been sent to their native states by special trains so far and arrangements would be made for the return of others in a week, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said on Monday

The government has been taking all steps for staggered departure of guest workers if they choose to go home and also based on the concurrence of their home states, he said.

"So far 9,000 guest workers have been sent to their respective states on eight trains and following the concurrence of concerned state governments," the Chief Minister said in an official release.

Efforts were afoot to send the remaining workers to their homes in a week after getting the nod of their respective state governments, he said.

"Till such time, I appeal to guest workers to stay put in their respective camps," he said following recent reports of some workers trying to reach railway stations out of anxiety.

Recently, he had said that sending home all the guest workers who are in thousands in Tamil Nadu was not possible.

Chennai Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan on Sunday visited guest workers from northern states housed at suburban Pallavaram and inspected the amenities there and assured them that they will soon be sent home.

Meanwhile, a special train departed from Katpadi (Vellore) to Howrah in West Bengal at noon carrying 1,126 passengers registered and nominated by the state government.

"Thermal screening of passengers done and social distancing ensured while boarding and on board," office of the Southern Railway General Manager tweeted.

Vellore district officials said of the eight trains operated from Tamil Nadu so far, four, including the one that departed on Monday, originated from Katpadi, around 130 km from here.

Those who departed to Howrah were stranded patients, including children, who had come to the CMC Hospital in Vellore for medical treatment and they were provided food and water for use during their journey.

Days ago, two trains to Hatia in Jharkhand one to Dhanapur in Bihar were operated and totally 4,630 people including guest workers and those who had come for medical treatment had gone back to their respective home states from Katpadi, the Vellore district authorities said.

On Sunday, nearly 1,000 workers from Tamil Nadu, stranded in Maharashtra, reached Tiruchirappalli by a special train.

Also, Southern Railway operated similar services to ferry over 3,000 workers to destinations in Manipur and Andhra Pradesh among others from Tamil Nadu.

On May 9 too special trains were operated from a couple of cities in Tamil Nadu to various destinations.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, May 11 2020. 22:25 IST