Odisha, Gujarat to constitute joint panel to facilitate return of stranded Odia migrant workers

Bhubaneswar, Apr 26 (PTI) The Odisha and Gujarat governments on Sunday decided to constitute a joint committee to facilitate the return of stranded Odia migrant workers to their homes from the western state, a senior official said.

The decision in this regard was taken following discussions between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani and Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan through video conference, he said.

A majority of the estimated five lakh Odia migrant workers stranded across the country due to the lockdown are in Gujarat, mainly in Surat, the official said.

The coordination committee will comprise two senior officers each from the two states, a release issued by the Odisha Chief Minister's Office here said.

The stranded migrant workers will be brought to Odisha mainly by buses while other modes of transportation will also be examined, the official said.

Those wishing to return from Gujarat to their homes in Odisha will have to register their name and address on state government portal covid19.odisha.gov.in. They will be placed under quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the eastern state, he said.

The Odisha government will urge the governments of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to waive road tax of buses bringing the Odia migrant workers to their homes from Gujarat, the official said.

Over 7,000 temporary quarantine centres have been set up in the rural areas of Odisha for housing the migrant workers upon their return to the state, he added. PTI SKN ACD ACD