The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has reportedly abandoned the stranded tourists stuck in Uttarakhand as the state government has been unresponsive despite repeated requests have been made by them.
Reportedly, hundreds of tourists from West Bengal are stranded in Haridwar since the beginning of the lockdown and the Mamata Banerjee-led government has not bothered to make any arrangements to allow them to return to the state, the Uttarakhand government said.
Uttarakhand: Around 700 tourists from West Bengal are stranded in Haridwar since the #CoronavirusLockdown had begun. They say, "we are not facing any problem here, but we want to return to our homes. We request Mamata didi to make arrangements for us to return home." (11.5) pic.twitter.com/zWfjAs6ZYK— ANI (@ANI) May 11, 2020
Speaking to ANI, the tourists have stated that though they are not facing any problems in Uttarakhand, but they have been stranded there since the beginning of the lockdown in March and are anxious to return home. They have requested CM Mamata Banerjee to make arrangements for their safe return to home.
According to Uttarakhand Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Madan Kaushik, there are nearly 700 people from West Bengal who are stuck in the holy city Haridwar amidst coronavirus lockdown. The minister said that the first communication with the West Bengal government to send back the tourists was made when the lockdown was initially imposed, back in March.
“We are requesting the West Bengal government, again and again, to take their people back because these tourists are in a state of panic and they want to go home. But no response has been received yet from there,” minister Kaushik said.
The minister added that even though the Uttarakhand government has made arrangements for their stay, food and medical facilities, the stranded people from Bengal wanted to return. A senior official said to Indian Express that a lot of stranded tourists were from Bengal.
UP and Haryana have already taken their tourists
Earlier, a large number of tourists of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana returned to their state after respective state governments arranged bus facilities for them. However, the West Bengal government is yet to make arrangements for the stranded tourists.
However, a senior government official from West Bengal refuted the Uttarkhand minister’s statements and said they are in touch with all the states where tourists from Bengal are stranded. West Bengal officials have stated that they are in the process of making arrangements for the return of the tourists.
Home Minister writes to Mamata Banerjee regarding the migrant crisis
The controversy surrounding Mamata Banerjee-led government come a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah had written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressing disappointment over West Bengal government’s reluctance to extend support to help migrant workers reach home.
In the letter to Mamata Banerjee, Amit Shah has stated that the Centre is not getting the required support from the state government to handle the migrant workers.
According to the reports, the Home Minister has said that the Central government is operating Shramik special trains to facilitate the return of migrant labourers to their native places, but Mamata Banerjee-led state government is not co-operating. Home Minister Shah has also demanded an answer on the Mamata government’s inaction over the migrants’ distress in Bengal.