Will ensure migrants return to work routine: Chennai Corporation on lockdown

The statement comes amidst various industries raising concerns after migrant labourers, stranded in the city due to lockdown, staged demonstrations in many parts of the city.
Hundreds of migrant workers gather at Rippon Building to get their travel passes on Saturday. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath/EPS)
Hundreds of migrant workers gather at Rippon Building to get their travel passes on Saturday. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath/EPS)

CHENNAI: Chennai Corporation will ensure that the migrant workers in the city return to the normal work routine, Commissioner G Prakash said on Sunday.

The statement comes amidst various industries raising concerns after migrant labourers, stranded in the city due to lockdown, staged demonstrations in many parts of the city demanding to be sent back to their home States.

“We are working on a decision to resume industrial and economic activities. Normal life has to return too. There are 5,000 workers in Corporation camps and we will take care of almost 90 per cent of them. We will help workers to resume their routine life, and if someone still wants to leave, we will take a call on their request,’’ Prakash told reporters.

As construction activities in non-containment zones are set to begin from Monday, Prakash said this may help in providing them employment and returning to normalcy.

On Saturday, hundreds of migrant construction labourers staged demonstrations in Velachery, Pallavaram and Guindy. Many also thronged Ripon Building, the headquarters of the Corporation.

The commissioner said tourists and stranded students will be given priority in letting them leave the city, while also reassuring that migrant labourers will return to normal life soon.

Export units can operate with a strength of 25 per cent staff and IT companies with 10 per cent, the civic body said in a statement.

Apart from this, all the shops listed in the Government Order will function in non-containment zones. Brick kilns and stone quarries supplying for subway and bridge works can also begin operations.

The commissioner advised house owners to get work passes for their domestic workers. “The domestic workers may not know how to apply for the pass. So the house owners shall help them,’’ he said.

50,000 more beds by May

The civic body is set to add 50,000 beds by the end of May for quarantine facilities to accommodate asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.

“Currently, there are 4,000 beds. We have taken up 750 marriage halls, and higher educational institutions will be prioritised to be converted into COVID-19 quarantine facilities,’’ the commissioner said.

The civic body has taken up Loyola College, DG Vaishnav College, Kannika Parameshwari College and Bharathi Women’s Arts College so far. “The process of taking over government and private schools is underway too,’’ said Prakash.

VCK urges government to send migrant workers home

CHENNAI: The VCK has urged the State government to send back migrant workers to their native States and bring back Tamil labourers stranded in other states.

Party president Thol Thirumavalavan, in a press release on Sunday, said, “Various states have begun to send labourers to their home states following the Ministry of Home Affairs’ instructions. On behalf of Tamil Nadu government, a nodal officer was also appointed for this purpose. But, there is no clarity on what measures were taken to send back around 5 lakh migrant workers who have been sheltered at various camps for now.”

He also urged the State to bring back Tamils stranded in other states.

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