PATNA: The Bihar government has tremendous tasks in handling the huge inflow of migrants who are stuck in other states due to coronavirus lockdown.
As per a rough official estimate, around 8 to 9 lakh migrant labourers, students and other people would return in addition to the 1.80 lakh migrants who returned soon after the lockdown was imposed.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Pratyay Amrit, principal secretary of disaster management department and state's nodal officer to deal with the returning migrants, said that all arrangements for placing the migrants and students upon their return in the next few days by special trains have been made across the state.
"1187 migrants arrived from Jaipur on Saturday and more than 1100 students from Kota on Monday morning by the trains at Danapur and Barauni. They have already been placed under the quarantine in their respective districts after thermal screenings," he said.
"No doubt, this would be a big challenge for us but the officials of Bihar love to accept such challenges. After handling flood devastation in 2019 throughout the flood-prone Kosi areas, officials of the disaster management department and other wings are capable of handling the crisis of COVID-19 outbreak," he added.
Known as one of the trouble-shooters of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar since the days when electricity and road networks in state were in mess to now when the state has overcome those problems, Pratay Amrit has successfully handled all the emergency situations including the flood so far.
Apart from quarantine facilities, the government is also preparing to create employment opportunities for returned migrants.
The nodal officed said that 12,000 new job cards were prepared for the migrants in just few days besides engaging more than 3 lakh of migrants in schemes of flood protection works and others under different schemes.
"SOPs are being followed to handle the migrants returning from other states amid the lockdown. As many as 1,972 centres of quarantine centres and 201 disaster relief centres have already been made functional with a capacity to accommodate nearly 2.5 lakh of migrants and others at district and block levels."
The Bihar government has appointed officials as coordinating nodal officers with the other states to ensure safe return of Biharis.