Undeterred by hefty amount and long distance, migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, living in Mumbai, are hiring auto rickshaws and even taxis to reach their native places in Prayagraj and adjoining districts.
Vehicles, especially autos with registration number of Maharashtra, could be seen, carrying workers in outer areas of Prayagraj and some of them even managed to enter the city despite check points and barriers, installed at many places in the city.
These migrant workers, mainly working in factories and having better economic condition, are arriving in autos. They said that they had paid hefty amounts to the auto drivers of Mumbai to persuade them to transport them to their native villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Some auto and taxi drivers belong to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar itself while many who are from Maharashtra are again looking for passengers to earn cash during their return journey.
More surprisingly, many autos and taxis carrying migrant workers managed to cross the check points on around 1500 kilometers long route from Mumbai to Prayagraj. Majority of the workers, who have hired autos and taxis, have to spend all their savings to pay the hefty fare charged by drivers.
On being questioned about their journey, many were reluctant to disclose much details but on condition of anonymity disclosed the amount they were spending to reach their village.
“The auto drivers and taxi drivers are charging hefty amounts from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 from each passenger for ferrying them to their native places according to the distance covered,” claimed a worker who used to work in a printing unit in Mumbai and was returning in an auto with three others persons.
The labourers when stopped at check points give different excuses to cops and most of the time, vehicles are allowed to proceed. However, in difficult situation, alternate routes were used for continuing the journey, a taxi driver said.
“It took four days to cover the distance from Mumbai to Prayagraj as we covered 300 to 400 km every day while taking rest as well. Many auto drivers have also gone towards Pratapgarh”, disclosed one of the auto driver who is waiting for passengers as he has to return to Mumbai after dropping labourers in Prayagraj.
ARTO Siyaram Verma said that autos and taxis from outside the state were not allowed to move here. He said autos especially were only allowed to ply on pre-decided routes locally. A team will be deployed to check movement of vehicles from outside states, he added.