Migrant workers from Bihar return to T'gana in special train

Hyderabad, May 8 (PTI) About 300 migrant workers from Bihar's Khagaria arrived here on Friday in a special train to work in rice mills in Telangana, the state government said.

State Civil Supplies Minister G Kamalakar, ruling TRS MLC and state's Rythu Samanvaya Samiti (farmers' coordination panel) Chairman Palla Rajeshwara Reddy and others welcomed the migrant workers at the Lingampalli railway station here.

This is the first time in the country during the ongoing lockdown that migrant workers have arrived in a state for work from their native state, Rajeshwara Reddy said.

'Everybody (migrant workers) want to go their own states. People started coming to Telangana for work,' he told P T I.

According to an official release, Telangana faced shortage of workers due to the lockdown at a time when the state government is procuring paddy from farmers on a record scale.

The workers from Bihar are mostly hired in the about 2,000 rice mills in the state, it said.

The Bihari workers had gone to their home state for Holi festival and they could not return to Telangana due to the lockdown, it said.

This has led to shortage of workers in the paddy purchase centres, rice mills and others, resulting in problems in handing over 'custom milling rice' (CMR) to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), it said.

The matter was taken to the notice of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and as per his directives, state Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar had written a letter to the Bihar government, it said.

The officials of the civil supplies department spoke to the state rice millers association and prepared a list of workers who are willing to come to Telangana.

The list was sent to Bihar government.

Accordingly, about 300 workers arrived at the Lingampalli railway station here in a special train on Friday afternoon.

Their temperatures were recorded, it said.

The workers were provided food and sent to different places in state-run buses by following social distancing norms, the release said.

The state government has borne the costs for arranging the special train to transport the migrant workers from Bihar and provided food and other facilities to them, Reddy said.

The official release quoted civil supplies minister Kamalakar as saying that the migrant workers would be treated as 'children of Telangana' as they have come to the state with trust that they would find work.

Chairman of civil supplies corporation Mareddy Srinivas Reddy said efforts are being made to get another five-six thousand workers, the release added.PTI SJR SS PTI PTI