The Centre informed the Parliament on Monday that no data was available on the deaths of migrant workers caused due to the sudden nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country this year.
Responding to a question on whether thousands of migrant labourers lost their lives during this period, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, through a written reply, said “no such data is available”.
On whether any compensation or relief was provided to the victim’s family, the government said, “Question does not arise in view of the previous question.”
The Centre added that more than 4,611 Shramik Special trains were run by the Indian Railways to help the labourers return home. “More than 63.07 lakh migrant workers have been shifted to various destinations located in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and other States. Food and water was also provided free of cost to the workers during their journey,” it said.
Moreover, at least 110 migrants died on Railway premises during the operation of Shramik Special trains since May 1, according to SOURCES.
Data from the states where nearly 63.07 lakh stranded migrants reached on 4,611 Shramik Specials indicate that the 110-odd deaths were caused by a variety of reasons, including pre-existing illness and Covid-19. Sources said a couple of deaths have not been taken into account as the bodies were found on tracks — apparently run over by trains.