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Bihar CM takes stern view of rumpus at quarantine centers

Social Issues

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Vexed over recent instances of rumpus at a number of quarantine centers where migrant workers are being lodged upon reaching Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday asked officials to be on guard against attempts to cause disturbances by those with vested interests.

At a high-level meeting chaired by him to review the COVID 19 pandemic, Kumar stressed on the need for regular monitoring of the situation at the quarantine centers, where order must be maintained and staff members placed in charge of the facilities should be regularly briefed.

According to the Information and Public Relations Department, more than 6 lakh migrant workers have come back to Bihar till date and more than a million are expected to arrive.

"It must be ensured that anti-social elements and those with vested interests are not able to create ruckus at these centers, the chief minister remarked.

His averments come in the backdrop of reports emerging from various parts of the district about eruption of protests at a number of quarantine centers by inmates alleging poor quality of food and other facilities.

Last week, the state's principal secretary for disaster management had shot off a missive to district magistrates that announcements be made on loudspeakers informing unruly quarantined migrants that they would be deprived of the government assistance of Rs 1,000 for each person (promised upon completion of quarantine period) if they failed to observe discipline.

The move, however, was frowned upon by the opposition which accused the government of "humiliating" the migrants.

Quarantine centers have been set up at district, block and panchayat levels. Lakhs of migrant workers coming from various parts of the country by trains and other means of transport are stationed there for a mandatory 14-day period commencing from their date of arrival.

The chief minister also pointed towards the "rapid rise in The number of returning migrants" and reiterated the need for setting up more testing centers and raising the number of samples tested on a daily basis.

The number of samples tested in the state till Wednesday afternoon is 53,381 which, according to various estimates, is among the lowest in the country after taking into account the population of the state.

The chief minister also sought to reassure the migrants that arrangements were in place to ensure their return by trains, buses and other vehicles, and urged them not to undertake risky journeys on foot or atop cargo vehicles like trucks.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 23:20 IST