New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) The Delhi government on Monday called several people for medical screening at a school in East Delhi before they were to board trains to go to their native places, with migrant workers and students accusing the authorities of mismanagement.
The students told IANS that people have been standing in the queue since late night, but were later told that their trains have already left.
Durgesh Pandey, who came to the school to get his medical screening done before boarding the train for Gonda, told IANS that he received a message around midnight that people have to come for a medical screening.
“So many people were already here when we came at around 7 a.m. There were no arrangements to deal with the crowd. There was no food, water or sitting arrangements for us. Also, there were so many people that even social distancing could not be followed,” Pandey told IANS.
He said along with him, around 15-20 students also came for medical screening.
“We have already registered for going home. After we sat here since morning without food or water, they told us at around 4.30 p.m. that the train has already left,” he said.
The students and migrants were stuck here due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
The messages were received by those who registered themselves for going to Lucknow, Gonda and nearby districts.
Another student said that no announcement has been made as to when the next train would depart.
“Now suddenly they are saying that you can go back to wherever you came from. I walked so long to reach here. Firstly, only a limited number of people should have been called, and those who have come here should have been sent. But now they have closed the gates and there is no one to reply to our queries,” said 26-year-old Mayank.
The migrants and students were called at the Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya at 8 a.m. for the train having stoppages at different districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Mou, Azamgarh, Faizabad and Lucknow.
“They sent the message at 12.17 a.m. on Monday. There was no time given for preparation. The authorities were aware that there was no public transport. Somehow people managed to come, some with small children as well. But there were no arrangements,” Mayank said.
The timing of the train was not mentioned in the message.
When contacted, Delhi government officials said that medical screening was part of the procedure.
“We made all the necessary arrangements for their medical screening and travel to the railway station on DTC buses,” an official said. However, he didn’t comment on the students’ accusations.
Indian Railways has been running ‘Shramik Special trains’ since May 1 and has ferried over 15 lakh migrant workers in 1,074 trains till Saturday.
Medical certificate from the state is necessary for boarding these trains.
Due to the sudden announcement of the lockdown, thousands of migrants got stuck in the national capital and other parts of the country.