Bhopal: Hundreds of migrant labourers trying to return to Madhya Pradesh gathered on the highway in Barwani district neighbouring Maharashtra and declined to be sent to quarantine facilities on Thursday.
The migrant labourers were approaching the state from areas of Bihar, Rajasthan and UP had gathered at Bijasan border in Sendhva town in Barwani, police officials said. As the cops denied them entry into the district, the migrant workers sat on dharna on the Agra–Bombay highway.
The workers argued that if the authorities don’t have the means to send them home, they should be allowed to go on their own. They also declined to be accommodated in quarantine facilities.
All social distancing norms to control the spread of coronavirus were ignored as the labourers lined up at the border close to each other.
Collector Amit Tomar finally arrived at the scene with senior police officials and after discussions with the workers, allowed them to go after screening. The migrant workers also were offered food by the administration.
Barwani has been witnessing an influx of large numbers of migrant labourers from the Maharashtra border in the last few days. Some are even taking the hilly route via Ulhas Nagar in Maharastra to enter MP on cycles to reach their homes.
The Shivraj Chouhan government on Thursday appointed seven senior IAS officials and entrusted them with the responsibility of bring back MP labourers stuck in different states, after the Centre issued fresh guidelines allowing them to return.
Till date around 35,000 labourers have been brought back from states like UP, Rajasthan Gujarat and Haryana, a state government communique said.