Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Sunday gave additional responsibilities to Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra to ensure smooth evacuation of migrant labourers of other States who have been stranded in various parts of the Odisha since the enforcement of countrywide lockdown to fight COVID-19.

SC Mohapatra, Development Commissioner-cum-additional Chief Secretary would head the overall state response on the return of persons stranded in Odisha to their home states,” read a circular issued by the office of the Chief Secretary.

“It is desired that the State must proactively facilitate and support the return of stranded persons with a humane approach,” the official statement said.

The government has also issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the smooth return of the stranded persons from Odisha to their home states.

Labour Commissioner N Thirumala Naik has been designated as the State Nodal Officer. He will facilitate movement of workers stranded in Odisha to their home States and will co-ordinate with the counterpart in the receiving State.

If a person or group of such persons intend to move to their State from Odisha in vehicle arranged by them, they may be advised to contact State Helpline No. 1800 34567 03 (Labour & ESI Dept.) or WhatsApp on 7008110717 or the respective District Labour Officer.

State Nodal Officer shall coordinate with the District Collector/ Municipal Commissioner for screening of such workers and issuing authorisation/ vehicle pass to asymptomatic persons.

District Collector/ Municipal Commissioner will then intimate the vehicle details, passenger details and date/ time of Journey with route chart to the Labour Commissioner-cum-State Nodal Officer who will inform the receiving State for further necessary arrangements.

Besides, Home Department Principal Secretary will be responsible for implementation of a decentralised system for issue of passes through district/ municipal administration. He shall also finalise a standard format for the passes.

Stranded persons may apply to the respective district collector/superintendent of police/municipal commissioners/ police commissioner for permission to travel, giving their details including destination state/district. The officials on receipt of application will issue passes with intimation to Odisha Home department and the counterpart district authority in the destination state.

Odisha issues guidelines for issue of permission for inter-State movement

In the wake of an increasing number of requests made by people to allow them either to go outside the State or come to Odisha due to various reasons, the Odisha government has come up with specific guidelines to restrict unessential inter-State movement during the third phase of lockdown enforced from today.

The MHA on Sunday also asked the States to permit only distressed people to go home but not allow persons residing at workplaces who wish to visit their native places amid the lockdown 3.0.