Over 3.5 lakh migrant workers sent back home, says Khattar

Chandigarh, Jun 2 (PTI) The Haryana government has sent more than 3.5 lakh migrant workers to their native states in 96 'Shramik Special' trains and over 5,500 buses, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Tuesday.

'Over 3.5 migrant labourers including farm labourers who wanted to go back to their native states have been sent back in 96 Shramik trains and over 5,500 buses,' Khattar told a news conference here which he addressed through video-conferencing.

The migrants sent back to their home states belonged to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, northeastern states, neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, he said.

The expenditure on their train and bus fare has been borne by the Haryana government, Khattar said.

He said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had recently written a letter to him offering to make monetary contributions in connection with labourers from his state being sent back to home.

'But I wrote back telling that the labourers who worked here have made a contribution towards Haryana's progress. We may come from different states, but we belong to one country. Especially at difficult times, we have to help each other. I said they are our own people and we have not made any obligation on anyone. I gave a reply saying it is our responsibility and duty to help and we are just doing that,' Khattar said.

Replying to a question, he said as industries have resumed functioning in the state as per the guidelines, many labourers who were still in the state have changed their mind and started to work in these units.

'We had estimated that two lakh labourers would leave for their states, but now they appeared to have changed their minds as industries have reopened and they are getting employment.

'Some labourers have also expressed their willingness to return and industrialists in Haryana want that they too should be facilitated. We have assured the entrepreneurs that whatever best we can do in this, we will do it,' he said.

Earlier, Khattar said the first year of the Narendra Modi government's second tenure would always be remembered as a 'year full of historic achievements'.

'The second term of NDA government would also be known for its tough and big decisions that have changed the country's image worldwide,' he said and gave examples of the nullification of Article 370, criminalisation of Triple Talaq and introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

He said the opening of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) etc are among other major achievements of the government. PTI SUN AQS AQS