4,000 migrants arrive in the state every day: Bihar's transport minister Santosh Kumar 'Nirala

PATNA: Minister of Transport talks to Faryal Rumi on the steps the state government is taking to ensure that those who return to Bihar reach their homes safely. Excerpts

What steps is the government taking to provide aid to migrants returning to Bihar on foot?

The government has already urged migrant workers not to return to Bihar on foot because special trains are being run from different parts of the country. For those who had already arrived in the state, the transport department deployed buses and ensured that they were sent back to their places of origin after being properly screened in three border districts, and Gopalganj.

How many migrants have traveled on government-provided buses in all three districts?

So far, more than 50,000 migrant workers have been collected from Kaimur, Buxar and Gopalganj and sent back home. We have also provided free bus services to those arriving in Bihar by train. Approximately 4,000 migrants return to the state every day, which means that around 3 lakh of them have reached Bihar by train or private vehicle and even on foot.

Do migrants get food and accommodation in border districts?

Shelters have been created to provide food and accommodation to migrants in border districts. Interested officials make sure the arrangements are up to scratch.

What provisions have been made to issue special passes for private vehicles?

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced that people stranded in other states should contact local authorities or nodal officials to obtain special passes issued in the middle of the shutdown.

What help is the government providing to those killed in car accidents while traveling to Bihar?

Such incidents have saddened the state government. Therefore, it has announced Rs 4 lakh ex gratia for families who have lost two or more members, even in out-of-state traffic accidents. Currently, this provision is not for people who die in accidents.