More than one lakh and nine thousand migrant workers from Chhattisgarh have reached out to the state labour department for help. The labour department has set up a war-room to field the calls for help, which is seeing around 900 calls per day over 13 helplines.
After the home ministry decided to allow relocation of migrant workers stuck in different states to their home state, the state labour department has been getting panic calls. “The earlier calls were all for help in supplying ration and other necessities but since the past couple of days, we have been getting panic calls from people who just want to come home,” Ajitesh Pandey, labour welfare commissioner said.
The state labour department has already started sending vehicles to various states to get the labourers back, albeit without disclosing the location. “We have four officers and each one is looking after a different state. Our criteria is to help people in the shelter camps first,” Sonmani Borah, secretary Labour department said.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday wrote a letter to the PM requesting trains for migrant workers of the state. Stating that the state had chalked out a plan to get migrant workers back using buses, the CM wrote that buses would be difficult for long-distance travels. “Point to point special trains could be run to ensure the safety and convenience of the workers,” he wrote
“We have SOPs in place for people coming in from different states. They will all be checked at the entry points and then quarantined in their villages,” Borah said.
The highest number of migrant workers, more than 26000, from the state are stuck in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the labour department. “We are also looking at skill mapping to identify and then give them employment opportunities after they fulfill the quarantine,” Borah said.
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