Two trucks were carrying migrant workers that collided in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district. It is one of the latest accidents involving the accidents of migrant workers. The incident took place about 200 km away from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow. It led to the death of 24 migrants, while more than 30 others were injured. These are one of the many cases being reported in which laborers that were traveling back home post lockdown. It triggered a series of outpouring nationwide condolences. Many of these workers have been left jobless due to the pandemic.
Migrant workers for long have been desperate to return home. So separate groups of migrants arranged for a hitched ride on two trucks from Rajasthan and Delhi. All these migrants were on their way to their villages in Bihar, Jharkhand, UP and West Bengal. According to officials, one truck was loaded with goods, and laborers were sitting on the sacks when they were thrown off the vehicle due to the impact of the collision.
Senior police officer Jai Narayan Singh further stated that some people got down from one of the trucks to have tea a dhaba when the collision happened. The laborers who were sitting on the sacks were thrown off.
The incident took place at about 2:30 am – 3:30 am in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Kamlesh Kumar Dixit, Auraiya Additional Superintendent of Police, said that the police teams had reached the spot as soon as they got the information about the accident and were involved in the rescue operation.
The injured have were referred to the Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences in Saifai, Etawah. The visuals of chaos from the accident site are distressing and show injured laborers getting a helping hand from both locals and police officers after the accident. Several police officers can be seen carrying out rescue operations.
उत्तर प्रदेश के औरैया में सड़क दुर्घटना बेहद ही दुखद है। सरकार राहत कार्य में तत्परता से जुटी है। इस हादसे में मारे गए लोगों के परिजनों के प्रति अपनी संवेदना प्रकट करता हूं, साथ ही घायलों के जल्द से जल्द स्वस्थ होने की कामना करता हूं।
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2020
This incident prompted the opposition to react strongly against the way the situation has been handling. Apart from expressing condolences to the bereaved families, BSP Chief Mayawati had stated that the Chief Minister must take action against the officers who could not fulfill their responsibilities. It is because the CM ensured all arrangements for the food, transit, and shelter for laborers. It will be provided by the police officers to all those migrants who come to UP or will pass-through the state. However, the directions were not taken seriously by them, resulting in such a mishap. Thus, she also demanded financial assistance to those families who were affected by this accident should be provided.
A probe has been ordered to investigate the accident. Also, a compensation of Rs 2 lakh has been announced for those who died and a Rs 50,000 compensation for those injured. While both the trucks have been seized, two police officers have also been suspended over the incident. Cases have also been filed against the truck drivers for the mishap.
The central government and state governments are doing their best to reach out to the needy as much as possible. They have also provided for special buses. The state has deployed about 200 buses to transport migrants from border districts to their homes. Nonetheless, many are still undertaking journeys of hundreds of kilometers on foot with their families who are stranded due to the nationwide shutdown.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also appealed to the migrants to avoid travel by themselves. He requested that information be given to the officers who can then assist them for the same free of cost. “The officials have been directed to take migrant workers entering the state to quarantine centers and provided comfort,” he said.
जनपद औरैया में सड़क दुर्घटना में प्रवासी कामगारों/श्रमिकों की मृत्यु दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण एवं दुःखद है, मेरी संवेदनाएं मृतकों के शोक संतप्त परिजनों के साथ हैं।
पीड़ितों को हर संभव राहत प्रदान करने,घायलों का समुचित उपचार कराने व दुर्घटना की त्वरित जांच करवाने के निर्देश भी दिए गए हैं।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) May 16, 2020
Another road accident has also been reported from Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district that has killed five laborers. This incident also took place this morning. The truck they were traveling in overturned. The group began their journey from Maharashtra, and they were going to UP.
Also, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition that asked that the center provides for food and water to migrants who are on the move. “The court cannot monitor the movements of the people. It is up to the state to decide as to what necessary steps need to be taken. The court cannot decide about the same.” the court said during the hearing.