Bhubaneswar: As thousands of migrants and other daily wage labourers continue to set out on foot to return to their homes in Odisha from different States and many others exiting Odisha for their homeward journey amid the nationwide lockdown, Leader of the Opposition, Pradipta Naik today stated that the State government will be responsible for the plight of the migrants.
Leader of the Opposition, Pradipta Naik warned that the State government will be responsible if any migrant dies while walking home.
Naik warned that the State government will be responsible if any migrant dies while walking home.
There seems to be no end to the migrants’ sufferings as they have no option other than to undertake an arduous journey on foot or cycles even without food and money.
Though Odisha government had recently issued clear instructions to the State Police to ensure that no migrant travels on foot on Odisha soil, several migrants can be seen covering kms of distance either on cycles or on foot to reach their homes in different parts of the State.
A migrant from Sundergarh, who was in Visakhapatnam due to the lockdown, managed to reach home after covering nearly 200 km on foot. Similarly, a group of migrants, who reached Kerada checkpoint on Odisha-Andhra border, alleged that no provision of food and transport was made after the cops stopped them and arranged accommodation at a temporary shelter.
Even though local administration and police have come to rescue of the migrants struggling to reach home by making special arrangements of transport, however, there seems to be lack of coordination between departments on the ground which has now provided an opportunity to the opposition to train their guns at the government.
Congress leader Panchanan Kanungo said, “State government is to be blamed completely as several migrants are dying on the route and others are committing suicide. The government should immediately provide compensation to the kin of such families.”
On the other hand, Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said that “Maximum migrants are from Ganjam district. Not only Odisha, but it is also the responsibility of other States in ensuring the safe return of migrants from our State. It is practically not possible to bring every stranded person at one go. The movement of trains will remain suspended in view of cyclone Amphan for two days and appropriate steps will be taken by the State government thereafter.
(Edited By: Suryakant Jena)
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