Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that he was deeply disturbed by the death of labourers in an accident in Uttar Pradesh's Auraiya and called for urgent steps to mitigate the plights of migrant workers travelling to their native states during the lockdown.
Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said courage should be shown in opening up cities that were turning into "graves" for labourers.
At least 24 migrant labourers lost their lives and 36 people sustained injuries when two trucks collided in Auraiya in the early hours of Saturday.
"Extremely disturbed by the loss of lives in the accident in Auraiya. The tragedy of migrant labourers keeps getting worse. Something needs to be done urgently," Mr Kejriwal said in a tweet.
Extremely disturbed by the loss of lives in the accident in Auraiya. The tragedy of migrant labour keeps getting worse. Something needs to be done urgently.- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 16, 2020
The collision of the trucks, both carrying migrant labourers, occurred in Auraiya early in the morning. While one of the truck was coming from Rajasthan, the other was from Delhi.
When some of the labourers halted on the Auraiya-Kanpur Dehat Road to have tea at a local shop, the trailer truck hit the stationary vehicle. Police said most of the migrant labourers in both the vehicles were from Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Mr Sisodia, while advocating opening up of cities said no matter how many Shramik Special trains are run and night shelters set up, they cannot bear the "flood of displacement".
"The closed cities are turning into graves for hardworking labourers. We need to accept coronavirus and show courage in opening up cities. No matter how many Shramik Special trains and night shelters are there, they can not bear the flood of displacement," he tweeted.
A large number of migrant workers from major urban industrial centres in the country have been moving with their families towards their home states, often walking and also in cramped trucks and other vehicles, during the nearly two-month long lockdown due to COVID-19.
The Delhi government has suggested to the centre that construction activities and movement of labourers within Delhi be allowed post May 17 when the third phase of the lockdown is to end.