Over 1 crore migrant labourers walked home during March to June lockdown, Centre tells Lok Sabha
The Centre said that while over 81.000 accidents with 29,000 fatalities occurred during that period, it had no data on migrant labours who may have succumbed on the roads
More than one crore migrant labourers returned to their home states on foot during March-June 2020, including those who travelled during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, the government said on Tuesday.
" COVID-19 has resulted in migration of large number of workers from destination states to the home-states,” Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh told Lok Sabha in a written reply. As per the data compiled by Ministry of Labour and Employment, more than 1.06 crore migrant workers, including those who travelled on foot during the lockdown, returned to their home states, he said.
As per provisional available information, 81,385 accidents occurred on the roads (including national highways) during the period March-June 2020 with 29,415 fatalities, he informed Parliament.
However, he said that the ministry does not maintain separate data in respect of migrant workers who have died in road accidents during the lockdown.
He said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued regular advisories to state/union territories to take all necessary measures to provide shelters, food, water, health facilities and also proper counselling to migrant workers.
"This ministry had assisted the movement of migrant labourers walking on foot on the various national highways all across the country by providing them food, drinking water, basic medicines and foot wears, etc," the minister said.
They were also provided with the resting places to take rest and assistance in terms of the arrangement of transport with the help of local administration to take them to the places nearest to their destinations, he said.
MHA vide orders dated 29 April, 2020, and 1 May, 2020, allowed movement of migrant workers to their native places by buses and Shramik special trains, respectively, he said.
The toll climbed to 4,66,147 with 236 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am
The death toll has climbed to 4,67,933 with 465 daily fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am
The International Organisation of Migration estimates that 23,000 people have perished since 2014 while trying to cross the Mediterranean in rickety boats or rubber dinghies