Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 18 (ANI): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said that the government will request for 120 more Shramik Special trains in the next few days to bring back migrant labourers and the state government will bear the train fares.
"Today a special Air India flight AI 0231 carrying 169 passengers from Bangladesh touched down at Kolkata airport. They have been kept in quarantine.
"...In the next two to three days, we will be giving an order for 120 more trains. In the next 15 days every day five to six trains will enter the state," Banerjee said during a video conference here.
She further said that more than 2 lakh people have already entered the state and it is extremely difficult to screen everyone for COVID-19 at one-time and arrange vehicles for them to send them to their districts.
"It is not possible for the government to handle the lakhs of migrant workers at one moment. I request you to give us some time to prepare and plan for action," she said while slamming political parties for attacking her.
She said, "At present, the West Bengal government is handling coronavirus situation, migrant labourers and cyclone Amphan."
Slamming the other states for not taking the responsibility of the migrant workers, she said, "Earlier, the Centre had asked the states to take up the responsibility of the migrant workers living in their states. However, no one did it except for us. Similarly, the Centre had said that the states will have to arrange transport for the migrant labourers who wish to go to their native states. This was also not adhered to by anyone except for us."
Requesting the political parties to give the West Bengal government some time to prepare and plan, the Chief Minister said, "Be a little patient. Don't politicise this issue. I request all States to take care of our people. We want to bring back everyone but cannot bring back everyone in one day. We have a plan in place, let us execute it."
Speaking on the impending cyclone Amphan, she said, "The Home Ministry had a meeting to discuss the cyclone Amphan but we were not informed. Only the Resident Commissioner was called. I think the Home Minister was misled."
The West Bengal chief minister said that instructions have been given to take people from the sea adjoining areas to cyclone shelters. (ANI)