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Odisha sends back over 26,000 migrant 'guest workers' to their states

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Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Out of about 90,000 migrant

workers stranded in Odisha due to pandemic-induced lockdown, the state government has so far send back over 26,000 guest workers to their respective states, official sources said.

The migrant labourers, described as guest workers by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, were lodged in temporary camps where they were provided free food and medicines during the three phases of the lockdown.

After inter-state movements were allowed relaxing shutdown norms, the migrants from other states here were send back to their native places in phases through trains and buses, an official said.

The state government through district administration facilitated movement of 26,621 migrant workers from Odisha for their return to the home states.

The returnees are mostly from West Bengal (6250), Chhattisgarh (3550), Bihar (3600), Jharkhand (7100), Rajasthan (1000), Uttar Pradesh (1800), Madhya Pradesh (915), Andhra Pradesh (960), Telengana (550), Maharastra (350) and Manipur (38).

Before sending them back, buses were sanitised, the official said, adding the guest workers were explained the need of social distancing and use of masks.

Water bottles, mface masks, dry food/food packets were distributed among the returnees before they started homeward journey.

While mineral rich Sundargarh district tops the list of sending back guest workers at 6620, it was followed by Khurdha (4400), Bolangir (1120), Bhadrak (750), Kalahandi (1110), Malkangiri (760), Angul (880), Rayagada (1300) and Bargarh (800).

A Shramik special train from Sambalpur left for Kanpur Wednesday carrying 1,068 adult migrant workers and 50 children from Uttar Pradesh, stranded in Odisha.

Collectors of 17 districts like Kalahandi, Sundargargh, Baragarh, Nawarangpur, Malkangiri, Nayagarh, Kandhamal, Sonepur, Balangir, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Boudh, Keonjhar and others were mobilised all the workers by arranging 30 buses to Sambalpur.

Collector, Sambalpur had arranged accommodation for 1000 workers at Burla. They were also given meals, dry food packets, mask and soap by the district administration.

Some of the workers from other states engaged in different jobs in Odisha have stayed back, a labour department official said.

Meanwhile, sources said as many as 11,153 migrant Odias stuck in different places of the country returned to the state Thursday.

So far 2,14,373 Odias have returned to the state since May 3. Returnees are coming by trains/buses and other vehicles, a senior official at the labour department said.

The returnees are quarantined at 15,892 Temporary Medical Centres/Camps spread over 6798 Gram Panchayats of the state.

The state has kept ready a total of 7,02,900 beds in quarantine centres as per the protocol to contain spread of COVID-19 from the homebound people.

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

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 20:48 IST