Chennai, May 16: Mourning the death of 29 migrant workers in two road accidents in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami told the 50,000 plus in the State not to walk or hitch hike home, but wait for special trains.
Five migrants died in Sagar in Madhya Pradesh when their truck overturned. In another accident in Auriya in UP, 24 migrants were killed when their truck collided with a van. Nineteen were injured in the accident.
Offering his condolence to the next of kin of the dead and wishing speedy recovery of the injured, the Chief Minister said the Tamil Nadu government was sending in special trains the migrants wanting to go home. The Government was bearing the train fare, he said and asked them to stay in relief camps till then.
In a statement, he said that since May 6, a total of 55,473 migrant workers stranded in the State had been sent back in 43 special trains to Andhra Pradesh, Jharkand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and north-eastern States with the consent of respective State Governments.
He said that the Government planned to send 10,000 migrants every day to their home States and asked them not to take risky road journeys .
Meanwhile, in another development, the Chief Minister said that barbers left jobless by the Covid lockdown would be given Rs 2,000 each as relief through their welfare associations. He said the cash would be given even to barbers not covered by any association and the money would be disbursed in two instalments through district authorities.
Though the Government has relaxed the lockdown regulations since the third phase and allowed 34 shops and establishments to open , it has still banned hair dressing saloons and beauty parlors.
When the fourth phase of lockdown begins from May 18, the Government is expected to resume bus services, with half capacity, and also allow people to go to temples, churches and mosques, but in limited numbers.