Impatient to return to their home states, migrant labourers have become a major challenge for the Gujarat Government. Thousands have taken to the streets in Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Rajkot, Ahmedabad and several other places, demanding arrangements for returning home. There have been numerous instances of angry migrants pelting the police with stones and the police resorted to lathi charge and lobbing teargas shells.
There are 40 lakh migrants stranded in the state who want to return, and considering the slow process of carrying just about 1,200 passengers in each train.
A government official claimed that 93 Shramik Specials had already left with migrants for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states and more were being planned. According to an estimate, about 40 lakh migrant labourers stranded and with each train ferrying about 1,200 passengers, the whole exercise will take months.
Despite denial by the BJP, circulars issued by district collectors clearly state that the migrants will have to buy their ticket and have fixed the charges at Rs 650 for any destination in UP and Rs 765 for Bihar.
Adding to their woes is the refusal by private bus transporters to make any more trips to other states after 80 buses to Odisha and 50 to Madhya Pradesh were impounded and their drivers and conductors detained.
Labourers from West Bengal are the worst hit. Not a single train has been planned for them so far. Most migrants have run out of money and are 'not receiving any help' from the Gujarat Government.