Patna: After Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government arranged special buses for ferrying migrant workers to their native states amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday criticised the move, saying this will defeat the purpose of the lockdown, which is to contain the spread of the disease. Also Read - COVID-19 Lockdown: 'Use State Disaster Relief Fund to Provide Food, Shelter to Migrant Workers,' MHA to States/UTs
“This entire exercise to send back people to their (native) states by special buses will defeat the purpose of lockdown. It will lead to an increase in the spread of virus in the next few days,” Nitish Kumar told NDTV. Also Read - Covid-19 Lockdown: As Exodus of Workers Continues, UP Arranges Buses to Bring Them Home | Watch
“It is better to organise camps locally, instead of trying to send people back home. The state government will reimburse the costs of these camps organised by anyone,” the news channel quoted him as saying. Also Read - COVID-19 Lockdown: In Advisory, MHA Asks States to Provide Adequate Support to Migrant Workers
Earlier in the day, in an attempt to help the migrant workers, the Uttar Pradesh government arranged 1, o00 special buses to ferry migrant workers to their respective hometowns in the state. Officials of the Transport Department, bus drivers and conductors were contacted on Friday night to help the people who were stranded in Noida, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, and Aligarh, among other places, he said.
Notably, videos have emerged in the last two days from various parts of the country of migrant workers walking on foot in a bid to reach their home states, since public transport has been shut as a part of the lockdown. The workers, many of whom have been evicted by their employers, have nothing to eat as they try to reach their respective destinations.