Odisha To Arrange Return Of Migrants From Gujarat And Maharashtra

On April 26, the state government announced that it would send buses to Maharashtra and Gujarat to bring back stranded migrant workers. To finalize this decision, two separate video-conferencing meetings were held – one between Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Maharastra CM Uddhav Thackeray, while another between Patnaik and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan joined both the discussions.

In the case of the ‘Gujarat to Odisha’ journey, most of the workers will be transported back to the state in buses from May 4. Whereas, a decision is yet to be taken on the schedule to bring back the Odia workers stuck in Maharashtra. This will take place after the completion of the Gujarat transport mission.

To make the transportation process swifter, the Odisha government has requested the officials of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh to exempt road tax on the buses carrying the migrant labourers.

Notably, the state government has made compulsory registration norms for all migrants willing to return to Odisha. A portal has been developed for the purpose.

Upon return, the migrants will have to stay under quarantine for 14 days. The government is setting up quarantine centres in around 7,000 panchayats for the returnees. These centres would have two lakh beds which would be scaled up to 5 lakh as more and more people come back.

Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in Odisha has crossed the 100 mark.

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