Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday said it is the Centre’s responsibility to make arrangements for sending migrant labourers to their native places in the wake of the lockdown enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Several migrant labourers have been residing in the coronavirus hotspots of Mumbai’s Dharavi slum area, it noted.
“It is the Centres responsibility to arrange trains and buses so that labourers could reach their homes,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
If these people continue to flock the streets, it is not safe for their health, the Marathi publication said, adding that the Centre cannot shrug off its responsibility.
“We wish that the kind of promptness shown by the Centre for the return of some Gujarati tourists from Haridwar (in Uttarakhand), should also be shown for migrant labourers,” it said.
“These people are homesick and we cannot assess what would happen if they gather on streets,” it added.
Without taking any names, the Sena said it feared that some people in Maharashtra would “instigate” the migrant labourers for their petty political gains.
It also took a dim view of the incident where hundreds of migrants gathered near Bandra station in Mumbai earlier this month and demanded that authorities make transport arrangements for them to go back to their native places.
The Sena said Maharashtra needs to take note of each and every labourer who gathered there, make necessary arrangements to send them back home and ensure to “foil” their any future attempt to come back to the state.
“These migrants should have trusted the state as it is trying to arrange food and shelter for them. If any other state has done so much for them, they should bring it to our notice,” the Uddhav Thackeray-led said.
It also referred to some recent comments of Union minister Nitin Gadkari on the need for policy measures to create jobs in rural areas and check migration to cities for employment.
“What Gadkari has said is crucial. If these people wish to return to Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, how are they going to feed themselves. There is no work for these people anywhere in the country during the current crisis,” the Sena said.