NEW DELHI – More than one crore migrant workers got back to their home states during March-June, “including those who travelled on foot” during the Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, the government told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
“Covid-19 has resulted in migration of large number of workers from destination states to the home states. 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 lock-down, returned to their home states,” minister of state for road transport and highways, Gen V K Singh, was quoted by Times of India as saying. He said this in written reply.
However, on the number of migrant workers killed during this period, the minister said “the ministry doesn’t maintain” separate data on migrant workers who have died in road accidents during the lockdown. “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,” Singh said.
This figure includes all road users. Singh informed the Lok Sabha that the ministry of home affairs issued regular advisories to state and UTs to take all necessary measures to provide shelters, food, water, health facilities and also proper counselling to migrant workers. “This (road transport and highways) ministry had assisted the movement of migrant labourers walking on foot all across the country by providing them food, water, basic medicines and footwear, etc,” the minister said.
He said they were also provided with 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.