Bhubaneswar: With the stage set for the return of migrant workers and people stranded in other states, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, here on Saturday, took up the safe return of Odia migrants with BS Yediyurappa and YS Jaganmohan Reddy, his counterparts in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, respectively.
Patnaik made the request during a separate video conference with Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh B S Yediyurappa and YS Jaganmohan Reddy respectively.
During a video conference on Saturday, the two Chief Ministers discussed the issue of shifting migrant workers from Andhra to Odisha and vice-versa. The two bordering states have extensive business and trade interaction between people of the two states. A large number of migrant workers from Odisha are employed in the agricultural and aquaculture sector of Andhra Pradesh. Many of them are employed in SMEs and construction projects as well.
The AP Chief Minister informed Naveen Patnaik that nearly 20,000 people from Odisha are staying in Andhra Pradesh, of whom 1,900 of them are currently lodged in relief camps. Stating that the persons in the relief camps have expressed interest to be sent back to Odisha, Jagan Mohan Reddy said: "All arrangements are being made for their transport to Odisha. The state government will make sure to provide better facilities for those opting to remain in AP."
Naveen Patnaik thanked Jagan Mohan Reddy for his government's support to Odisha people stranded in AP and appreciated the efforts put up by the State in controlling the Covid-19.
During the course of the video conference with Naveen Patnaik, Jagan Mohan Reddy also raised the issue of the return of Andhra migrant workers, students, professionals, pilgrims, and tourists stuck in Odisha, due to the 40-day lockdown.
Union petroleum and steel minister Dharmendra Pradhan joined the video conference from Delhi and applauded the efforts in taking care of migrant workers in the state.
Pradhan agreed to coordinate between the states for smooth movement of the people stranded in the south Indian states to Odisha. He also requested the Karnataka and the Andhra Pradesh governments to ensure that those wanted to return registered with online portal developed by the Odisha government.
The chief minister also thanked both Yediyurappa and Reddy for looking after the Odia people stranded in their states.
Patnaik requested his Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh counterparts to facilitate the smooth and safe journey of Odias who wish to return to Odisha, an official in CMO said.
Both Yediyurappa and Reddy pointed out that works in several sectors have already resumed in their respective states. Therefore, Odia people who desire to remain and work in their states can do so and those wishing to return to their home state will be provided with all help and cooperation, the two chief ministers promised.
Several issues relating to health screening, registration and arrangements for the return journey of the Odia people were also discussed during the discussion.
A large number of people including migrant workers, students and professionals are stuck in different parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh unable to return to Odisha due to the lockdown.
Earlier, Patnaik had spoken to the chief ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu where a large number of Odia people are also stranded because of the lockdown imposed across the country to contain spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Patnaik's talks with Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh CMs have come after several migrant workers returned from Gujarat by specially arranged buses, while a group of students also came back to Odisha from Kota in Rajasthan. A special train carrying around 1200 people is also on its way to Odisha from Kerala, officials said
The Odias stranded across the country have to register their names with Aadhaar and mobile phone numbers in a portal launched by Odisha government. On their arrival in the state, the returnees will have to undergo mandatory quarantine in Odisha.
The state government has opened a large number of temporary medical camps and quarantine centres in all the 6,798 gram panchayats and over 100 urban local bodies to keep the returnees in quarantine before allowing them to go to their houses.
(With Agency Inputs)