As officials reject their Shramik Express applications, those with only local ID proof are scurrying to source soft copies of voter IDs and ration cards
Migrants leave for their hometown Gorakhpur from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on Friday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Even as the desperation to reach their homes continues, migrant workers stuck in Maharashtra are faced with a new challenge. Most of their applications for returning home have been rejected by the authorities concerned as they have their local addresses on their Aadhaar cards. Even though they have their voter ID cards and ration cards on their phones, lack of printing facilities is proving to be another major hindrance
The migrants from Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai who have their local addresses on their Aadhaar cards are not being allowed to return, as they have no other way to prove that they are non-residents of this state. Some of them claimed that they had come to Mumbai only for work and got the Aadhaar card made to open bank accounts and procure sim cards and driving licence. A number of migrant labourers working at different power looms in Bhiwandi are natives of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh but they can't avail the government's Shramik Express facility for the same reason. The police and collector offices believe that as they have their local addresses on Aadhaar cards, they are Mumbai residents, and hence would not be allowed to go to any other state.
Currently, in Mumbai around six lakh migrants want to return to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and others. Of the total, 2 lakh people have a Mumbai address on their Aadhaar cards.