Odisha govt says it reached out to 40,000 of 1.5 lakh stranded migrant workers

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Tuesday said it has reached out to around 40,000 of the 1.5 lakh Odia migrant workers stranded in different states due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

Home Secretary S Chopra, after presiding over a high- level meeting here, said that most of the migrant workers from the state are stranded in Delhi NCR, Gujarat and Mumbai.

In the initial phase, 230 places were identified where more than 100 Odia workers are stranded in each location, he said.

The control room set up for the purpose has received 5,200 distress calls so far, Chopra said.

“The workers who have been reached so far have informed the state government that they have been provided with food and shelter in the places where they are stranded. The state government is exploring all ways to reach to people in distress,” he said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier written to his counterparts in all the states urging them to provide assistance to stranded Odia migrant workers.

He also called upon Odia associations to help their brethren who are stranded in their areas.

Patnaik assured his counterparts in other states and the Odia associations that the expenditure incurred in keeping the stranded migrant workers safe will be borne by his government.

The Odisha government, on the other hand, has opened 252 camps to provide shelter and food to 18,000 migrant workers from other states who have been stranded due to the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, tweeted: “I have spoken with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani about stranded Odia workers in his state. The CM has assured me that his government will look after shelter, food and health of stranded Odia workers.”

(PTI)

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