Workers from Salem, who were cycling to their native village near Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and were stopped at the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border in Katpadi taluk, are returning to the district. The arduous journey for the eight workers began on Friday and when they reached the States border in Katpadi taluk, they were refused entry into Andhra Pradesh as they did not have passes.
Luju Soy, one of the eight travellers, said they had been working in textile/tailoring shops in Salem for the last one year and they were now jobless and without food and money. Except for the first few days after the lockdown, they did not get sufficient food and their stay had become difficult as they had run out of money.
In the absence of any communication about their onward journey from Katpadi, they decided to return to Salem, said an exhausted and disappointed Mr. Soy. He said that the police were cordial in most places all along the route. But when we nearing the T.N.-A.P. border, they treated us badly, he said. The A.P. police at the border were checking the vehicles only for passes and to ensure that migrant workers were not taken into the State surreptitiously.
While migrant workers said they were getting food, water, and medicine and had a place to stay, they were worried about lack of clarity about travelling to their home State.
The officials at the check-post advised them to approach either Salem or Vellore Collectors office for their travel by train. An official said that 10 trains transported the migrant patients, caregivers, and workers from Vellore and pointed out that the first Shramik Special train from Tamil Nadu left from Katpadi.
We have arranged a number of trains and will ensure that all are sent safely to their districts. If anyone is left out, they should go through a proper channel like the office of the Collector or the Superintendent of Police with details for their travel, said an official.