New Delhi: Bihar has received the maximum number of migrant labourers through special trains so far and West Bengal the least, data accessed by the PTI shows, with officials indicating that the latter was "stalling" the movement of its workers stranded in other states.
TMC MP and leader of the party in Rajya Sabha, Derek O'Brien said the West Bengal government was doing "all it takes" and accused the Centre of playing politics.
The data shows that most migrant labourers have moved from Gujarat to their home states in 35 Shramik Special trains so far, followed by Kerala from where 13 such trains have left.
Each train has a maximum capacity of about 1,200 passengers. So far, the Railways has run 67 such trains carrying 67,000 migrant labourers to their home states.
Among the receiving states, Bihar has accepted 13 trains, with 11 more currently on the journey and six in the pipeline, the data shows.
Neighbouring Uttar Pradesh has received 10 such trains and five more trains are on their way and 12 are in the pipeline, the data shows.
The West Bengal government has, however, given clearance to only two trains -- one each from Rajasthan and Kerala -- and they are on their journeys to the state, the data shows.
A senior official said, "While other states which have their migrant workers in other parts of the country are accepting their labourers, West Bengal is stalling. Two trains from Thane to Shalimar and another from Bangalore to Howrah which were supposed to run today did not get clearance from the state despite both the originating state governments trying to push for it.
"Rajasthan has also been slow in accepting migrants with just three trains ferrying its workers back to the state, which are currently on their way," the official said.
TMC MP and leader of the party in Rajya Sabha, Derek O'Brien accused the Centre of playing politics.
"The states, including Bengal, are going all out -- fighting corona. Unfortunately, the Central government is going all out -- fighting and badmouthing non-BJP states using its different ministries.
"States are the implementing authorities. We are all doing all it takes. This is not the time for politics. Or we too can ask: why was a 21-day lockdown announced with four hours notice?" he asked.
According to figures from 2011 census, West Bengal ranks fourth among states from where people migrate for work and employment.
Between 2001 and 2011, nearly 5.8 lakh people migrated from the state looking for work, which is fewer only than Uttar Pradesh (37.3 lakh), Bihar (22.6 lakh) and Rajasthan (6.6 lakh).
The railway data shows that Jharkhand accepted four trains, while five trains are on their way to the state. Two more Shramik Special trains are in the pipeline.
Odisha received seven trains and five are on their way to the state with one more in the pipeline, the data shows.