Reverse flow! KCR and Yediyurappa don’t want to send out migrant workers, want them to come back

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May 6, 2020 4:34 PM

Migrant workers in Karnataka, Telangana: Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Telangana have made an appeal to labourers not to leave for their native states.

migrant workers, migrants in telangana, migrant workers in karnatakaThe government is running special trains to ferry migrant workers during the coronavirus lockdown.(File. PTI Photo)

As the exodus of migrant labourers threatens to upturn the planning by states to resume economic activities, states like Telangana and Karnataka have urged the workers not to leave to their native states. While the Telangana government is bringing back around 1,200 workers from Bihar to work in rice mills, the Karnataka government has gone ahead and suspended the inter-state movement of workers by trains.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa held a meeting with builders on Tuesday and assured them to provide relaxations in order to resume their businesses. He was informed about the possible labour shortage in the days to come if migrants are repatriated, prompting the state government to withdraw the request to run special trains to ferry the migrants.

BSY also made an appeal to labourers “with folded hands don’t pay heed to any rumours, it is the responsibility of the government to see to it that you get work at the place you were working”.

“Don’t take hasty decisions of going to your natives. Stay here and work, as in the past,” he said. Later, the CM tweeted that he has asked ministerial colleagues to persuade the migrants from not leaving the state while ensuring all possible support to them including employment.

“Directions were given to the ministers to convince the labourers to refrain from returning to their home states,” he tweeted after the meeting.

In Telangana, CM K Chandrashekar Rao said that a large number of people who have left the state are now willing to return. He said around 20,000 people from Bihar want to come back and work in the rice mills.

Rao said trains going to Bihar to drop migrants, will be bringing around 1,200 workers who will work in rice mills and made an appeal to the migrants to not leave. He said Telangana considers migrant workers as the partners in the state’s development.

“People from Bihar work in our rice mills. Those 20,000-22,000 people want to come back from Bihar. The train which is going to Bihar will bring back the rice mill workers from there. We are bringing back 1200 such people tomorrow (Thursday) in this manner,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

“We sent 11 trains today – 5 to Bihar, 1 to Jharkhand, 1 to Rajasthan, 2 to Uttar Pradesh and 2 to Madhya Pradesh. So, 11 trains left from Hyderabad on Tuesday. I wanted to send 40 trains but we need consent from the concerned states too,” Rao added.

KCR said migrant workers should prefer to stay back as the economic activity was resuming in the state gradually and they will get work. “If you have any problem dial 100 or approach a local official, MLA or minister,” he said.

The lockdown which came into force on March 25 brought all economic activity to a grinding halt. Lakhs of migrants were left stranded in different cities and were demanding from the local government to send them back. After five weeks of the lockdown, the Centre eased the restrictions and arranged special trains to send them back. Majority of the migrants in different states are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

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