Industries struggle, Mohali authorities plan to get back migrant workers
After making mammoth efforts to help migrant workers in the district return to their home states by buses and Shramik Express trains, the district administration is now trying to reverse the exodus as industries struggle because of shortage of hands after easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
“Requests have been made to us from several companies and now we are working on modalities to bring back the workers. We plan to send buses to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and are even talking to the respective state governments to find out if they can send workers on train,” said Girish Dayalan, Mohali deputy commissioner, on Tuesday.
Various industries, currently working with just 40% labour, have claimed only 15% production after opening on May 4.
‘Workers say they want to come back’
“We have requested the authorities concerned to help us bring back the workers; and we are also getting calls from them (workers) saying they want to come back. The industry has been hit badly after the unskilled workers left. The district administration has assured us of help,” said Yogesh Sagar, president, Mohali Industries Association.
The district has around 13,000 micro, small and medium enterprises and 49 major units located in Mohali, Dera Bassi, Chanalon in Kurali and Chapper Chiri, employing around 30 lakh workers, of whom around 78,000 are estimated to have left.
The administration has in the last month spent around Rs 2.16 crore to send 27,000 workers home to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal in 24 Shramik Express trains.
Mahindra and Mahindra (Swaraj) Mohali is one company that has got its workers back from Ambala and Panchukula even as 10 others have asked the administration for help.
Rs 2.16 crore spent to send workers back
The district administration has spent around Rs 1.5 crore in ferrying 27,000 migrants back home in May in 24 trains. About Rs 9 lakh was spent on a single Shramik Special train, with Rs 7.5 lakh for tickets and the rest on ferrying workers on buses to the railway station, for refreshments and water.The district administration is spending the money from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) .