The Maharashtra government wants the respective state governments to bear the cost of transportation of their migrants.
"A total of 12 to 13 lakh migrants reside in Maharashtra. Of this, at least 10 lakh must be interested in returning to their home states," a senior government official said, reported The Times of India. The prime concern is who will incur the cost of transporting the migrants back to their home states as the sheer numbers indicate it will be a burden on the exchequer.
"We are examining the Punjab model. With Sikh pilgrims from Punjab stranded in Nanded post-lockdown, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh made arrangements for their transportation. With our students stranded in Kota, we have now sent buses for their transportation. In our opinion, we should follow the same formula. Respective states must take responsibility for the transportation of their migrants stranded in Maharashtra," the official added.
The Union home ministry on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines for inter-state movement to allow stranded migrant labourers, tourists and students to return to their homes.It said the new guidelines will come into effect from May 4, "which shall give considerable relaxation to many districts". So far, only inter-state movement of essential commodities has been allowed, while migrant workers could travel to their workplaces within city limits if they showed no symptoms for coronavirus.