New Delhi, May 20: There appears to be no end to the number of migrant workers dying in road accidents. 22 people were killed in separate road accidents in five states on Tuesday, taking the death toll in such incidents., involving migrants to 162 during the lockdown.
Nine people died in Bihar, four in Maharashtra, six in Uttar Pradesh, one in Jharkhand and two in Odisha.
The accident in Bihar's Bhagalpur took place when a truck with migrants rammed into a bus, which was also carrying workers who had returned on Shramik Special train on Monday. Four passengers in the bus suffered injuries.
In Maharashtra's Yavatmal district, three migrant labourers and a bus driver were killed and 22 others injured. The incident occurred when the vehicle hit a stationary truck. In UP, two separate accidents involving migrant workers took place in which three women were killed.
In Odisha's Angul district, the driver of an LPG tanker was charred to death when a bus carrying 26 migrants rammed into the tanker.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought more proactive coordination between the states and the Ministry of Railways on the issue of special trains.
For routes, where the migrants are known to be already travelling on foot, arrangements could be made by the states, which are en route, for designated rest places, taking into account the requirement of sanitisation, food and health, Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla said in a letter to the Chief Secretaries.
District authorities may guide workers moving on foot to be designated rest place nearby bus terminals or railway stations by arranging transportation, the MHA has also said.
Further the states have been asked to enlist the migrants with their addresses and contact numbers as this would be helpful in contact tracing in due course. The states have also been advised to involve NGOs at rest places.
The Home Secretary also said that the states should increase the number of buses for transportation of migrants and all entry of buses carrying migrants at inter-state borders.
There should be adequate arrangement of food made along with health care and counselling to encourage the workers to remain at places where they are.
There should be more clarity about the departure of trains, buses. Lack of clarity coupled with rumours has caused unrest among the workers. Special attention may be given to the specific requirement of women, children and elderly among the migrant workers, the MHA also said.
The district authorities may be directed to request the Ministry of Railways for running trains, where required and ensure that no migrant worker has to resort to walking on the roads or railway tracks to reach their destination, the Home Secretary also said.