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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Interview: Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy CM, Bihar

‘Unfortunately we have data of only about 13 lakh construction workers’

Written by Santosh Singh |
March 29, 2020 3:45:51 am
Sushil Kumar Modi interview, Migrant workers, Bihar, coronavirus outbreak, indian express news We are preparing panchayat-wise lists of migrants, which will help us screen them… Villagers are alert now, said Deputy CM.

A large number of migrants from across the country, abroad have returned to Bihar. What steps is the state taking?

In the past one week, nearly 7,000 migrants have arrived in Patna on two unscheduled trains — from Kerala and Pune. Since the lockdown was already on, the administration had to relax a few norms to help them get home. We are preparing panchayat-wise lists of migrants, which will help us screen them… Villagers are alert now. Once we are able to screen them and enforce self-quarantine, the threat will be less. Village heads must play a big role in ensuring that no one hides their travel history.

What about the migrants stuck in other parts of the country?

We are setting up relief camps for them. In Rajendra Nagar in Patna, a stadium can host about a 1,000 people.

Many of the migrants are daily wagers who will struggle to make ends meet.

We have already announced a host of measures — one-month free PDS to 1.68 crore ration card holders, transfer of Rs 500 to Jan Dhan accounts of BPL families, and advance pension of three months to senior citizens, widows and the differently-abled.

Is there a broader economic package planned for unorganised sectors?

Unfortunately, we have data of only about 13 lakh construction workers. They are being given Rs 1,000 each.

Are hospitals in Bihar equipped to deal with COVID-19 patients?

The Nalanda Medical College and Hospital is reserved for only coronavirus. Our next focus is to strengthen healthcare services at the district and sub-division level.

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