Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has identified 12 border checkpoints through which its migrants left stranded in other states due to the nationwide lockdown can enter their native state by road, an official said on Saturday.

The returnees and those passing through are required to enter the state only from these points.

Officials at these checkpoints, after due diligence, will allow entry of vehicles into different parts of Odisha and transit of vehicles through Odisha, said the official.

Additional Chief Secretary and Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena issued a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the return of stranded Odia people to all District Collectors, Superintendents of Police, Municipal Commissioners, and Police Commissioner of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack.

The SOP said that the 12 Border Checkpoints will be set up in 11 border districts -- Biramitrapur in Sundargarh, Champua in Keonjhar, Chandili in Koraput, Girisola in Ganjam, Jamshola in Mayurbhanj, Kanktora in Jharsuguda, Kerada in Rayagada, Khariar Road in Nuapada, Laxmannath in Balasore, Loharchoti in Bargarh, Motu in Malkangiri, and Sunki in Koraput.

Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy has directed police, health, commerce and transport officials to operate as a team at the ground level for smooth return of the migrants.

The pre-registration number of the returnees will be checked at the checkpoints and, if required, fresh registration will be done. The returnees will be stamped with indelible ink on the right inner forearm, indicating the entry details.

Jena said these stamps would be helpful in deciding about the quarantine of the returnee in the state.

Meanwhile, hundreds of migrants from Surat in Gujarat who are on their way to Uttar Pradesh were left stranded in transit despite necessary permissions, as Uttar Pradesh government is not allowing entry of their buses, Surat Police Commissioner RB Brahmbhatt said on Saturday.

He said that Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh governments are in talks to resolve the confusion caused by some "technical issues".

Brahmbhatt also said that some of the migrants are returning to Surat amidst the confusion.

"About 40-50 buses carrying migrants are on their way to Uttar Pradesh. They were provided passes from Surat.

However, the buses were later stopped (due to the lack of permission from the UP government), leading to confusion," said Brahmbhatt.

He said talks are on between the two (Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat) governments to resolve some "technical issues".

"People are restless. Several buses are in transit in Madhya Pradesh, as Uttar Pradesh is not allowing them the entry," he said, adding that some buses had managed to enter Uttar Pradesh.

The Centre government recently allowed movement of stranded labourers, tourists and students from one state to another on the permission of local authorities amidst the nationwide coronavirus-enforced lockdown, which has been extended till May 17.

Up to Friday evening, about 50,000 people had left for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha in about 4,000 vehicles including buses, cars, tempo, trucks etc.

Meanwhile, Surat Collector Dhaval Patel issued an order stating that no checkposts will issue offlline permits to vehicles leaving for other states.

"Migrant labourers will have to seek online permission only," he added.

Patel said no permits will be issued for vehicles carrying migrant workers to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi, Assam, and other North-Eastern states.

Vehicles leaving for other states will have to register online at http://www.digitalgujarat.gov.in and www.
digitalgujarat.gov.in for an online permit.

"They will have to take a printout of the online permit as a valid pass for their vehicles," the collector said.

He also said that people leaving for other states will be screened at three check-posts by medical teams for any Coronavirus symptoms before being allowed to leave the district.

The Uttar Pradesh government has issued advertisements in Gujarati papers in which CM Yogi Adityanath has appealed to workers from his state living in Surat to keep patience.

"Efforts are being made to coordinate with all state governments to ensure that all workers and youths from Uttar Pradesh are safely transported back to their homes. We humbly appeal to you to keep your patience and stay wherever you are.

"Do not walk back home. The Uttar Pradesh government is making arrangement for your safe return in a phase-wise manner," reads the advertisements.

(With Agency Inputs)