Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government appears to have found itself in a difficult situation with scores of migrants wanting to go back to their home states. The government will have to ferry a staggering 20 lakh migrant labourers back to their native places, The Times of India reported.
In a major relief to migrant workers, the Centre on Wednesday allowed them to return to their respective destinations 36 days after the nationwide lockdown was imposed. After the order was issued, the state government constituted a team comprising 16 IAS and IPS officers to manage the task. But within a small period of time, more than 20 lakh workers from different parts of the state have registered themselves and the figure is expected to rise.
A government official involved in the process of shifting migrants from Gujarat to their home states and ensuring the safe return of Gujaratis stuck in other parts of the country told ToI that the number of migrant workers seeking to return to their homes has breached the 20 lakh mark.
“This number is likely to increase by a few more lakhs,” the official was quoted as saying. He, however, added that all the workers are unlikely to return to their native states as industries and other commercial activities will restart shortly.
A significant chunk of the outbound rush of workers is from the state’s industrial hubs like Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch and other towns of south Gujarat. The state government was witnessing many difficulties in moving all migrant workers to their home states by train. In view of this, the Centre has suggested states to permit individuals to travel by road. In the interim, the Gujarat government is trying to reach out to the labourers and convince them to stay back, the report added.
On Saturday, a train from Surat left for Behrampur in Odisha, and two trains from Ahmedabad left for Agra. Each train had the capacity of 1,200 passengers, and only those who had registered their names were permitted to travel, a senior official told PTI.