With an increasing number of migrant workers taking the road across the country to reach their homes in different states, the Odisha government has started a dynamic bus transit system to pick up such migrant workers and drop them to inter-state borders.
“Till 18.5.2020, 5.00 PM, Odisha Police arranged 222 trips by bus to transport over 8,000 such migrant labourers of other states using Odisha for transit only. Odisha Police is also running kitchens to feed migrant labour of all types. The biggest such kitchen in Bhadrak is feeding 4,000 people per day,” said a statement issued by the state government.
According to sources, thousands of migrants have taken to the road, either in vehicles or on foot and bicycles, to reach their home states. A large number of these migrant workers are just passing through Odisha from states like Andhra Pradesh to reach Bihar or West Bengal.
“We have a well-oiled system to pick up migrants from borders of the source state, and drop them to borders of destination states. There are well-laid down SOPs for migrants hailing from Odisha coming back home. But there is a vacuum as far as migrants transiting through Odisha on foot is concerned,” a senior Odisha government official said.
To tide over this, the official said, a dynamic bus transit system has been started where police stations on highways and roads make migrants walking on foot and make them board buses to reach interstate borders.
“Odisha Police for the last four days is providing buses from important Border Check Points like Soliela, Girisola, and Kerada to carry the migrants to the border points of their destination state. However before such buses were provided (from BCPs) some migrant labours had already left on foot. So all road side police stations has been alerted to assist such migrant labour and inform District Control Room who can co-ordinate with other districts and BCPs. The number and route of buses is dynamic, depending on demand. Buses are also being provided at intermediate points like Khordha, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Jajpur, Bhadrak, etc,” the statement said.