C'garh CM for provision in SDRF to meet expenses incurred on inter-state travel of migrants

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], May 16 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday requested the Centre for proper provision in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the payment of expenses incurred on interstate travel of migrant workers and others travelling within the State.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Baghel said that more than 1.50 lakh migrant workers and other persons of Chhattisgarh are stranded in other States and are anxious to return to their home, reads an official statement.

Workers have started returning from other States and more than 27,000 workers have returned to Chhattisgarh by their own means and the bus facilities provided by the State government.

Apart from this, the process of bringing back about 1.32 lakh workers through rail and buses has started from May 11. There is currently no provision for the workers to pay the expenses incurred in rail and bus transport from SDRF, the statement adds.

It further states that the State government has also decided to provide food, water and bus facilities till state border to workers going to other states via Chhattisgarh.

Referring to the letter dated March 14 from Ministry of Home Affairs, Baghel said that in this letter a provision has been made to spend up to 25 per cent limit from the State Disaster Response Fund out of the provisioned amount of SDRF to "keep cases under quarantine, sample collection of individuals and screening measures for cluster contention operation, contact tracing."

In addition to setting up a laboratory for prevention of COVID-19, purchase of necessary equipment, health department, police department, purchase of personal protection kit for fire services, thermal screener, ventilator, air purification equipment and others used in hospital provision for expenditure up to 10 per cent limit has been made from SDRF amount for the purchase of material, the statement further says.

Chief Minister Baghel has written in the letter that a large amount is likely to be spent on transport and other facilities of the workers. In these circumstances, proper provision should be made in the SDRF for the payment of inter-state transport of workers and other persons and transportation expenses from one place to another within the state.

He has requested the Prime Minister to give appropriate instructions to the Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard. (ANI)