AFTER A medical certificate became mandatory for migrant labourers who want to be transported back to their home states, many queued up at the Civil Hospital, Panchkula, hoping that their turn came before the counters close for the day.
Jugti Ram (43) who had broken his pelvis in an accident several years ago, limps in the long queue. Even standing for long hours pains him, but living in Maheshpur village he had to begin walking at 6 am to reach the hospital at 8 am. The weather has not been kind as well.
“I live in a small village and used to drive a rented e-rickshaw as that is all I could do with this broken pelvis. The lockdown has been heavy on us, but this queue is even more difficult. I have been standing since morning and my turn has still not come,” he said. Jugti was at the DC Office on Tuesday registering himself to avail the state transportation facility, and on Wednesday, he was at the civil hospital.
Several others, like him, have been spending their days in the long queues at the civil hospital, which only disperse after 8 pm.
“We see people walking throughout the day sometimes in large groups other times sparingly but the flow doesn’t stop. The longest queue forms early mornings and in the afternoons,” said a police official who mans the traffic at the chowk near the hospital.
Most of these people are migrant labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh waiting to get their medical certificates. The process requires a person to show the OTP sent on their phone when they registered on e-disha service for migrant transportation and filling a medical form, which gets a stamp of approval once they are screened and no symptoms are found. Even though the process is fairly simple, several face issues as most do not understand how to operate their phones.
“I did not know we had to register for this online. I came to hospital after my neighbours told me that certificates are being given to all those who want to go. Keh rahe hain pehle phone pe koi form bharo,” said 54-year-old Gulab.
Meanwhile, at least 2,000 certificates were issued by the health department combining urban and rural health centres on Thursday as five mobile units too were called into the hospital to disperse people and quickly issue certificates.
“We are setting up a camp at the Tau Devi Lal stadium tomorrow where we expect to screen as many as 13,000 migrants,” said Dr Jasjeet kaur, CMO Panchkula. More than 24,000 people from Panchkula have applied to move back to their home states. The administration has given no information about when the buses and trains will begin from the district.
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