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Workers from nearby areas start returning to Ghaziabad as industries open

By Peeyush Khandelwal, Ghaziabad
PUBLISHED ON MAY 30, 2020 11:09 PM IST

With the commencement of work at nearly 16,000 of the 27,000 industrial units in Ghaziabad, workers from nearby towns and cities, who had gone home after the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the Covid-19 was announced, has started returning to Ghaziabad to rejoin work.

According to officials, the Ghaziabad district has an estimated six lakh workers employed in the industrial and service sectors and about 2.75 lakh are already engaged in production activities in units that have opened.

According to the official estimates, about 1.7 lakh migrant workers have left for their home towns till date.

“A lot of migrants travelled from states like Delhi, Haryana and Punjab to get buses and trains to their home towns from Ghaziabad. With the opening of 16,000 industrial units in Ghaziabad, about 2.75 lakh workers are back on the floor. Now, we are witnessing a reverse migration of sorts as activities have opened up,” Virendra Kumar, deputy commissioner (industries), said.

“During the last 10 days, 900 workers have returned from districts such as Hardoi, Kasganj, Etah, Shahjahanpur, Farukkhabad and Mainpuri, among others. We had sent our roadways buses to bring them back. We are also calling up industrial unit owners to hire roadways buses at government rates in case they wish to bring back their workers from their home towns,” he said.

He said there are number of labourers who have come to Ghaziabad from other states during the lockdown and have preferred to stay out in the district.

“For these workers who are from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, etc., we are doing a skill mapping. A first set of 40 such workers were introduced to industrial unit owners and nine of them got offer letters on Saturday. The process to find jobs for the others is on,” Kumar said.

The Ghaziabad district has about 27,000 units which include 5,024 small units, 149 related to medium industries and 45 heavy industrial units while the rest are under micro category and also include those in service sectors like saloons, and beauty parlours, among others.

According to official estimates, about 40% of the labour force in Ghaziabad preferred to stay back while about 60% have gone to their home towns.

“It is an encouraging hat about 2.75 lakh workers are back to work. At present, there is a high demand for labour and workers now have a chance of securing better wages,” Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate, Ghaziabad, said.

“So we are assuming that 2.75 lakh workers who are presently on the job in industrial units did not migrate to their home towns and preferred to stay back,” he added.

Meanwhile, migrants from Ghaziabad still continues to return to home towns. A train scheduled for West Bengal through Gaya and Dhanbad also left Ghaziabad junction with migrant workers on Saturday.

“I work as a domestic help and no one is employing me now. My husband is employed with a company in Noida’s Sector 62 but that is also closed. So we are returning to our village in Malda (West Bengal) by train and will return only after the lockdown is lifted,” Bandana Jha, a domestic help who stays in Kanawani near Indirapuram, said.

The first train to Howrah, West Bengal, from Ghaziabad left on Saturday. So far, 32 trains and about 4,700 UP Roadways buses have ferried about 1.7 lakh migrant workers to their home towns from Ghaziabad.

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