Kottayam: With 1,463 passengers, the first train for migrant workers from Kottayam district left for New Cooch Behar in West Bengal on Monday.
The migrant workers from Malda, Murshidabad, and Uttar Dinajpur districts of Bengal were on the train that departed from the Kottayam railway station at 6.30pm.
The Bengal government paid for their train ticket, Rs 1055.
The district administration had arranged for 43 KSRTC buses to take the migrant workers to the station. Selected workers from Changanassery, Meenachil, and Kottayam taluks were part of the first journey.
The most number of workers were from Payyippad. Thirty-four buses were needed to ferry migrant workers from Payyippad alone. The elated migrant workers cheered for the Kerala Police as they left for their home.
All buses first arrived at the Nagampadam bus stand. Then the workers were taken to the railway station in the buses based on their train seat numbers.
They were subjected to thermal scanning at the station. And after giving food packets, they were sent off in the train.
This is the first passenger train to leave Kottayam station in 55 days.
Collector P K Sudheer Babu, district police chief G Jayadev, assistant collector Shikha Surendran, ADM Anil Oommen, RDOs Jolly Joseph, M T Anil Kumar, deputy collectors Moncy Alexander, tehsildars P G Rajendra Babu, V M Ashraf, Jinu Punnoose, Geetha Kumari, Savio, and station manager Babu Thomas were at the station to see off the migrant workers.
The police had stepped up security in the area.
Migrant workers gather at Peruva
Meanwhile, migrant workers gathered at Peruva near Kaduthuruthy in the district, seeking arrangements to return home immediately. The workers from Bengal, who stayed at a nearby lodge, turned up near Peruva Junction around 8.30am on Monday. The police then held talks with the workers, sensitising them about the situation.