States must use idle vehicles to transport workers, says an appeal by 90 organizations, networks and concerned individuals:
We, the undersigned organizations call upon the State governments concerned to bring out all idle transport vehicles out from garages to the State and National highways to carry the workers to their home. We also request that more interstate trains be run, and in a coordinated fashion, to ensure that workers do not remain struck in overcrowded dormitories and camps.
We appreciate the hard work put in by the respective State administrations to facilitate the process of workers getting home, amidst all the logistical challenges that are involved in coordinating such an effort and scale. However, it is also very clear that the present efforts by the State governments to organize transport from select cities and towns are not adequate to cover all the workers who want to get home. While the workers walk, the Central Government continues to evade any real action that will ensure assistance in providing wheels to the workers.
Given the enormous distress that the walking workers and their families are facing, we appeal to the State governments to reach out to the Truck Owners Associations, the Private bus owners association and deploy their own State Transport Corporation fleet to intercept the walking workers and carry them home. To facilitate this, it is necessary that the State governments permit the free movement of all types of vehicles carrying workers, across state borders and check posts.
Also we request the concerned administrations to refrain from charging any toll fee on the highways, from the workers who built these roads in the first place. We also request that border security is notified in advance to not create difficulties in the way of such vehicles plying the various National highways.
We also urge you to stop all kinds of corruption and harassment by individuals and State officials along the roads so that the walking workers can be assured of safe passage. Given the extreme conditions and suffering faced by the workers, we all hope that your administrations can step up your ongoing efforts and intervene immediately.
To this effect, we as a group of Organisations, Networks and Individuals, have given a public call for a Twitter Storm on 21 May (Thursday) from 6 to 9 pm, under the hashtag #WheelsForWorkers. We believe that No Wheels should remain Idle while the Workers are Walking!
Click here for signatories