Hundreds of migrant labourers stuck without work and wages in Mumbai would have felt relief as they finally managed to board a train to return to their rural homes in Uttar Pradesh.
But when they woke up the next morning ready to go home and put their ordeal behind them, they found themselves not in their intended destination of Gorakhpur, but nearly 750km away in Odisha.
The special train, which left from the Vasai station in Maharashtra on Thursday, had travelled a completely different route overnight and taken them to Rourkela.
Angry and confused, when they asked why this had happened, they said they were informed by officials present there that the train’s driver had lost his way because of some mix-up.
But the Railways has denied that the wrong route was because of the driver losing his way and said the change of destination was by design.
“We have decided to run a few of the Shramik trains on diverted routes. Some trains were diverted for Bihar via Rourkela to clear congestion,” officials told News18.
But the question remains why the migrant workers travelling in the train were not informed. They have also not been told about when the train will leave Rourkela for Gorakpur.
For now, the migrant workers find themselves stranded in Odisha and wait for the railways to sort this mess out.