Rajasthan: Mass exodus of stranded people begins as Centre allows interstate movement

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Thousands of migrant labourers, tourists, pilgrims and students stuck in various parts of Rajasthan have started packing their bags to leave for their homes as the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed interstate movement of stranded people with conditions.

Foreigners stuck at Viaynagar and Pushkar have been allowed to leave for Delhi from where they will fly to their respective countries through special flights. Devotees held up in Nathdwara have been allowed to leave for other respective states.

At least 4,000 devotees are also stuck near Ajmer Sharif Dargah, who are now likely to head back home.

While the orders came on Wednesday, several people had already started their journeys as the states agreed on their transportation.

Thousands of students stranded in Kota have already left for their respective homes in special buses sent by their home states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, etc. Now, others will also be able to go home as several states had not sent buses for students as they waited for the Centre’s permission.

A few hundred migrants had left for Punjab from Sri Ganganagar on Tuesday.

Not just exodus, Rajasthan is also preparing to welcome its people back from other states.

Around 1,000 Rajasthani people stuck in Gujarat will now be allowed to enter the state and proceed to their respective districts for their homes.

Several people will also seek to move within Rajasthan to get to their homes. At least 913 migrants stuck in Sirohi are moving to different home districts in Rajasthan.

Most of those allowed to go back home will be quarantined either at home or at camps for 14 days.

The MHA order permits movement through nodal authorities after following proper procedure of registration, medical screening as also a quarantine back home.

Allowing interstate movement will help prevent the smuggling of migrants at exorbitant prices by truck drivers.

In Jaipur, about 60 persons including women and children were recovered from a truck whose driver charged Rs 2500 for each passenger to drop them in Uttar Pradesh.

However, the industrialists and traders are cautious about this mass exodus as it may lead to a severe shortage of workers.

There is a view that the permission for migrant labourers has come at a time when many workers can hope to get back to works soon and may have a second thought about returning home now. Some employers are even willing to pay wages of the lockdown period to only those who are willing to stay on and work.

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About the author: Sohom Das
Founder of Tuccho.

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