Restrictions on movement of people, particularly migrants, must be eased and limited air, road and rail connections should be allowed, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted on Saturday, reacting to the deaths of 24 migrants in a road accident in Uttar Pradesh.
"Deeply pained to hear about unfortunate deaths of migrant workers in the Auraiya accident. This underlines the necessity for stakeholders, including receiving states, to ease restrictions for all affected people, particularly migrants, & allow limited air, road & rail connections," Mr Puri said.
Deeply pained to hear about unfortunate deaths of migrant workers in the Auraiya accident. This underlines the necessity for stakeholders, including receiving states, to ease restrictions for all affected people, particularly migrants, & allow limited air, road & rail connections— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 16, 2020
Twenty-four migrants were killed and more than 30 were injured when the trucks they were travelling in collided at around 3 am in Uttar Pradesh's Auraiya district, about 200 km from the state capital Lucknow.
"Some people had got down from one of the trucks that stopped at a dhaba to have tea. That was when the collision happened and labourers who were sitting on the sacks were thrown off. We are still trying figure out why so many people were packed in those vehicles coming from Delhi and Rajasthan. Those injured have been admitted to hospitals," a senior police officer said.
Scores of migrants have been killed in road and train accidents, several have died of exhaustion as they travel on foot, cycles, or by hitching rides, to get back to their native states following weeks of coronavirus lockdown. Due to lack of information or money, thousands are not taking special buses and trains being run by the centre and states.
All public transports were suspended in March, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the first leg of the nationwide lockdown to arrest the growth of coronavirus in the country. Lakhs of migrants were stranded across the country with no jobs or means to stay put.
The centre last month allowed inter-state travel for the migrants.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday indicated that the rules will be further eased in Lockdown 4.