Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting permission to operate chartered flights to evacuate the state's migrant workers stranded in Ladakh and in a few states in the northeast. This is the second such letter written by Soren requesting permission to run chartered flights.
"So far we have been able to get back 1.5 lakh stranded workers, students and other persons by trains and buses," Soren wrote. While executing this evacuation exercise, "we learnt that nearly 200 labourers of Jharkhand are stuck in the difficult terrain of Ladakh. Similarly, around 450 such workers are stranded in the North Eastern states. Distress calls from there are being received everyday in my office".
Due to the difficult terrain of these places, Soren said a viable solution would be to lift them by air. He mentioned a similar letter written on May 12 requesting permission to airlift and bring back the people stranded in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Soren recently found himself at the receiving end of allegations by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal who alleged that states like Jharkhand, West Bengal and Rajasthan were not allowing the free movement of trains that the Centre was trying to run to get stranded people back to their home states.
“We can start 300 trains daily but there are states which are giving very few permissions to trains. Uttar Pradesh has given permission to 400 trains, Bihar to 200. But West Bengal has so far given permission to only seven trains," Goyal had said last week. "Jharkhand’s CM also issued a statement that he was ready to accept his people in the state. Then why aren’t these states given us permission to run the required number of trains?”
Responding to him, Soren in a series of tweets said his state had given No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to 110 trains. He also put up on Twitter a letter written by Jharkhand Chief Secretary to the Home Secretary requesting permission to operate a chartered plane to Andaman and Nicobar Islands to bring back over 300 workers of the state.
"It's been four days and we are still awaiting necessary clearances/NOC from @PIBHomeAffairs to initiate the process. The Jharkhand government will bear the costs of the flights to Ranchi, if MHA permits us. We need a humane approach now and be sensitive to those who have faced the worst," Soren said in a statement on Twitter.