In a big relief to migrant workers stuck in Gujarat, the Odisha government has decided to bring back migrant workers from the state who are stranded in Gujarat due to the nationwide lockdown over the novel coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik spoke with his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani and discussed the safe passage of Odisha migrants workers stuck in the western state amid lockdown.
The decision was taken after Naveen Pattnaik, Vijay Rupani and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting via video conference on Sunday.
It was decided that for the safe return of the Odia migrant workers, a coordination committee comprising two senior officers each from Odisha and Gujarat will be formed to chalk out the details of the transport.
While most of the workers will be brought back to Odisha in buses, both the state governments (Odisha and Gujarat) will take a decision to bring the remaining workers through other modes of transport (Sea or Rail) after a review.
The Odisha government is also in talks with the governments of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and will request these states to exempt road tax on the busses carrying the migrant labourers from Gujarat to Odisha.
Earlier, the Odisha government has made the registration mandatory for these migrant Odisha workers who will be kept in government quarantine for 14 days.
Recently, to ensure mandatory registration of the returnees and for effective management of Covid-19, sarpanchs were empowered with powers of a collector and the law has been changed accordingly by Naveen Pattnaik
In the past few weeks, hundreds of migrant workers mostly from Odisha and other parts of country staged violent protests in Surat, demanding they be sent back to their native places. Many of them were detained by the Gujarat police and were later released.
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