BHUBANESWAR: Personnel of Odisha police and Good Samaritans have been helping migrant workers from Jharsuguda to reach the border check points closest to their home states.
As hundreds of migrants workers have been transitioning through National Highways across the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had directed Odisha police to make necessary travel arrangements for them.
Migrant workers from Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh, working in various other states are returning to their villages via Jharsuguda. On an average, Jharsuguda police are arranging four to five trips every day to carry migrant workers till the State border.
During this hour of crisis, two social organizations of Jharsugda - Gosala Sewa Samiti and Kerala Sewa Samajam Samiti have come forward to help the migrant labourers by providing two buses to the police for their travel to the borders.
The two organizations are incurring the entire expenses incurred on the journeys including fuel and the payment of drivers for carrying migrant workers from Lakhanpur in Jharsuguda to Biramitrapur in Sundargarh district.
"Kerala Samajan Samiti runs a school in Jharsuguda and its members have provided the two buses. The expenses of the trips are incurred by both the organisations," said president of Gosala Sewa Samiti, Sandeep Awasthy.
Two buses have undertaken four trips to Biramitrapur in the last three days and another vehicles has been arranged in case the authorities need it, he said. Assistance for migrant workers is pouring in from all quarters in Jharsuguda. Kalu Patra, staying within BTM police outpost limits, who sells bakery products on a bicycle, gave three boxes of biscuits to the migrant workers despite his meagre means.
Jharsuguda SP Rahul PR said Good Samaritans are providing food and drinking water to migrant workers. The police’s priority is to ensure their safety while ensuring social distancing and preventing accidents on the highway.
Police have opened a dedicated transition camp for migrant workers at Prasanna Panda Square near Biju Expressway in Jharsuguda. "Some buses were found to be overcrowded and some migrant workers were seen travelling dangerously on top of a goods truck. They were immediately shifted to the transit camp and provided biscuits and water bottles," said Rahul.
The police have also facilitated the travel of 80 migrants till their homes in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.