Coronavirus lockdown: Surat industry bodies arrange buses for migrant workers

By: |
May 2, 2020 1:00 AM

Meanwhile, member of the Bhartiya Rail Sangharsh Samiti Shan Khan has demanded for special trains from Surat to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for stranded labourers.

Sources said more buses are being arranged for migrant labourers from north Indian states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Following the demand of migrant labourers working with the textile and diamond sectors, industries associations have started arranging private buses to drop them to their home states from Surat and other parts of the south Gujarat region.

We have arranged nearly 500 buses for migrant workers hailing from Odisha. For the purpose, industries associations have started procedures to take permissions from concerned authorities. Labourers willing to travel have been asked to produce necessary documents,” said Mahendra Ramolia, chairman of the Sachin GIDC Notified Authority. Those boarding these buses will have to pass through thermal screening, said Ramolia, adding that all buses will also be sanitised before departure. Per worker cost is around Rs 2,500-3,000, he added.

Sources said more buses are being arranged for migrant labourers from north Indian states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Already 100 vehicles left for these states from Surat, said a senior official with the district administration. He also said all the passengers of these vehicles were examined. They would once again be screened by medical experts of their respective states.

Meanwhile, member of the Bhartiya Rail Sangharsh Samiti Shan Khan has demanded for special trains from Surat to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for stranded labourers.

Diamond and textile unit owners are not only putting in efforts to book private buses for labourers, but also helping them avail necessary permissions from authorities. Due to sudden demand of private vehicles, rent for private buses has gone up.

Jitendra Vakharia, president of the South Gujarat Textile Processors Association, said migrant workers will be safer in their villages compared to Surat as most of them are staying in highly populated and congested localities of the city.

Over 15 lakh workers are employed in diamond and textile industries in and around Surat. Of this mammoth labour force, 80% is migrant worker.

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