Migrant workers block section of highway near Maha-MP border

Hundreds of migrant workers on Tuesday briefly blocked a section of the Mumbai-Agra national highway here on the Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra border alleging mismanagement by authorities in arranging transport.
A senior official said the government has arranged buses to shift migrants who are arriving in the inter-state border town from Maharashtra and other areas.
While a bulk of these migrants are on their way to their home states in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, many belonged to various districts in Madhya Pradesh.
Eye-witnesses said a large number of vehicles queued up on both sides of the road due to the blockade in afternoon, which was cleared later.
Gangadhar, one of the migrants coming from Maharashtra, said Barwani administration had promised to drop people up to the UP border, but no arrangement was seen on the ground, prompting people to block vehicular traffic on the highway.
On the other hand, district panchayat CEO Manoj Sareyam said nearly 100 buses were arranged for dropping migrants to the UP border.
“We have also arranged for their food and water,” he said, adding that desperation and lack of awareness among migrant workers is creating problems.
According to eye-witnesses, several migrants were seen sitting on roofs of buses.
When asked about crowding on buses, Sareyam denied any knowledge.
Meanwhile, the state government has issued directives to all the bordering districts to arrange buses for ferrying migrants to the UP border.
“The state government has made arrangements for temporary stay, food, drinking water, first-aid and medicines for all those workers walking down to the border districts of Madhya Pradesh from different states,” a public relations department official said in Bhopal.
He said 375 more buses have been arranged to transport the migrants to their respective districts in the state and for those to the inter-state borders.
From various transit points, migrant workers will be transported to their hometowns or villages (in MP) with the help of local administration, he said, adding that similarly various routes are finalised for migrants from UP.