The Central Government Monday informed the Lok Sabha it maintained no data on migrant workers who lost lives during the return to their home towns after the announcement of the nation-wide Lockdown in March.
In response to a question whether the Govt is aware that a number of migrant workers lost lives during their return to their hometown and whether the details of the same - State-wise- are available, the Centre informs the Lok Sabha that no such data is maintained. pic.twitter.com/UClDvRxCi7
— The Leaflet (@TheLeaflet_in) September 14, 2020
Union Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar was responding to questions from three Members of Parliament (MPs) – K.Navaskani, Balubhau and Adv. Adoor Prakash.
The Minister, however, was able to provide data on the number of migrant workers who had returned to their own states during the national lockdown.
According to him, a total of 10466152 (One crore four lakh sixty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-two) migrant workers had returned to their respective States.
Uttar Pradesh witnessed the maximum return of 32.5 lakh migrant workers, followed by Bihar and West Bengal with 15 lakh and 13.38 Lakh migrant workers respectively.
The minister added that the Indian Railway had operated more than 4611 Shramik Special Trains for the convenience of the workers. More than 63.07 lakh migrant workers had been shifted to various destinations located in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and other States. Food and water were also provided free of cost to the workers during their journey.
MPs also sought to know “whether the government provided any compensation or economic assistance to the victims’ families”. The Minister stated that since no such data was maintained there was no question of giving compensation to the victims’ next of kin.
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.