UP govt auctions bicycles seized from labourers in lockdown, earns Rs 21 lakh

New Delhi: 

Thousands of cycles confiscated from the migrant labourers heading home during the lockdown netted the Uttar Pradesh government Rs 21 lakh. The district of Saharanpur auctioned 5400 confiscated labourer cycles, which the labourers were unable to collect.

Why did the government have to auction off the bicycles of thousands of labourers?

Thousands of bicycles taken from labourers during the Covid-19 lockdown are now lying in a barren Saharanpur field as junk. The labourers were given a token with the number inscribed on the cushions of these cycles. However, the labourers who returned hundreds of kilometres away might not have had the confidence or the money to recover the junked bicycles after paying the rent. As a result, the authorities auctioned more than 5000 cycles of the labourers for Rs 21 lakh after a two-year wait. 

Jeetendra, on the other hand, is dissatisfied because he purchased hundreds of cycles at the auction. “The administration had announced an auction for 5400 cycles, which I had purchased for 21 lakh rupees. However, if counted correctly, there are only 4000 cycles. Buying these cycles at auction resulted in a loss,”


quoted Jeetendra, a contractor from Saharanpur.

Lakhs of labourers began migrating by bicycle from Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal during the lockdown. Saharanpur became a transit point for migrant workers in this situation as it is the meeting point of three states.

The contractors who purchased these labourers’ cycles at auction are now offering 1200 rupees each cycle, but no purchasers have been identified.

People stated these are labourers’ cycles, and we came here hoping to find cheap cycles, but everything is old and junked.

The images of the employees’ anguish during the Covid-19 lockdown must have clouded in your mind now, yet the lives of the workers continue to be spread like these cycles long after the lockdown has ended. Following the pandemic, government officials are now claiming that everything is fine on one hand. These cycles, on the other hand, continue to represent the big labour exodus.


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