States gear up to bring back stranded migrants amid lockdown 2.0
Hours after the meeting with the Prime Minister, Odisha health minister Naba Das said the state will come out with guidelines to bring back stranded workers by the end of April.Updated: Apr 28, 2020 04:33 IST
Days after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh started taking back stranded workers, the Rajasthan government issued guidelines to bring back stranded workers from other states and Odisha announced that it will have similar guidelines in place by the end of April.
Bihar on Monday urged the Centre to relax guidelines on isolation and quarantine for allowing the return of migrant workers to the state. Close to a million workers from Bihar, stranded in different states, want to return, said government officials manning the state’s helpline for migrant workers.
Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar, supported the proposal of Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, that there should be national guidelines on interstate transport of migrant workers to prevent confusion at a meeting of all chief ministers with Prime Minister Modi.
Hours after the meeting with the Prime Minister, Odisha health minister Naba Das said the state will come out with guidelines to bring back stranded workers by the end of April. He also said that 5.5 lakh people have registered with the portal launched to track migrant workers from the state.
Odisha government’s chief spokerperson on Covid-19, Subroto Bagchi, said the state was anticipating a huge rush of workers if the lockdown norms are eased on May 3.
Das said that the CM had held discussions with the Gujarat and the Maharashtra governments regarding steps required to facilitate the safe return of Odia workers stranded in these two western states.
The Rajasthan government appointed 19 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officers to coordinate with 14 state governments and respective district authorities to bring back stranded migrant workers from the state.
Guidelines have also been issued for the desert state’s border districts from where the inbound migrant workers are likely to enter, which include mandatory testing and quarantine at transit camps for the returning workers. The home department has asked district collectors to keep a strict vigil on the movement of the inbound migrant labourers and ensure all their personal details, such as names, addresses, and mobile numbers, are recorded for contact tracing should any of them test positive for Covid-19. State chief secretary, DB Gupta, said these officers would also ensure implementation of guidelines and safety protocols.
“After much effort by the state government, the migrant workers from Rajasthan will soon be returning home from other states. These people suffered a lot during the ongoing nationwide lockdown. Now when they return, it is our moral duty to take care of them, provide them with all the help regarding food, medicines and quarantine facilities,” Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot, tweeted on Monday.