Hours after Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa met leading property developers of the state, the government has decided to cancel all trains that were to ferry migrant workers to their home town from Wednesday, 6 May.
The state government has written to Indian Railways cancelling all trains scheduled from Wednesday.
This decision comes even as several migrant workers are struggling to find a train to return home.
The Quint has accessed a letter written by N Manjunath Prasad, nodal officer for inter-state travel from the state, claiming that no more trains are required. Referring to an earlier letter requesting three trains on 6 May, the officer said that the service is no longer necessary.
A senior government official said that even though no reason was given for withdrawing the train services, the decision was taken following a meeting with the representatives of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI).
The official said in the meeting that it was decided migrant workers were needed to revive the state’s economy.
Following the meeting with builders, the Karnataka CM released a statement, reading: “The COVID 19 situation in the State is in control when compared to other States. Barring the red zones, business, construction work and industrial activities have to be resumed. In this background, it was explained that unnecessary travel of the migrant workers has to be controlled.”
Following this decision, the two trains that left for Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand on Tuesday from Bengaluru became the last trains that took back migrant workers to their home states.
Another senior official claimed that those who booked tickets on trains have left. However, when The Quint visited the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) which is transit centre, several workers were seen unable to get on a train.