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COVID-19: With two lakh from Andhra stranded across India, government working to bring them home

Officials here are in touch with their counterparts in other states to find out how many are willing to return home, so arrangements can be made to transport and quarantine them.

Published: 04th May 2020 09:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2020 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers wait to return to their houses, at a GVMC shelter  in Visakhapatnam on Sunday

Migrant workers wait to return to their houses, at a GVMC shelter in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. (Photo| G SatyanarayanaM, EPS)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The state government is working to bring stranded Telugus back to Andhra Pradesh from across the country, and is also taking steps to send people of other states back to their hometowns in coordination with the authorities of those states.

It is estimated that two lakh people from Andhra Pradesh are stranded in other states. Officials here are in touch with their counterparts in other states to find out how many are willing to return home, so arrangements can be made to transport and quarantine them. Priority will be given to migrant workers, followed by pilgrims and students.

So far, the state has details of 12,542 people stranded in other states. Of them, 4,000 fishermen have been brought back from Gujarat. Work is on to bring home about 3,000 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, said state CPVODd-19 task force chairman MT Krishna Babu, adding that 1,100 others are stuck in Odisha. "The Rajasthan government said around 9,000 people from our state are there. We are awaiting district-wise details so arrangements can be made," he said.

The AP government has received about 500 applications on spandana.ap.gov.in. "It is easy to apply, and people who face difficulties may apply through the nearest tahsildar. All we ask for is accurate details, such as name, age, occupation, location and where they want to go, and reason, so we can organise their transportation," Krishna Babu said. On their return, these people will be quarantined for 14-days in a special facility or at home.

Health minister Alla Nani said nine special trains are being arranged to bring people back to Andhra Pradesh. About 10,500 people from the state are awaiting clearance to return from abroad owing to reasons such as expiry of visas, unauthorized stay, and closure of universities.

Of them, 6,000 are from Gulf nations, it was said during a video conference with the Cabinet Secretary. With regard to the movement of people between AP and Telangana, permission of both states is required. Those with No Objection Certificates (NOCs) sent on WhatsApp may cross the border checkpoints. Preference will be given to groups (not more than 10 people) in case of a marriage or emergency.  

State geared up to send home thousands of workers

As many as 12,794 migrant labourers from various states are stranded in Andhra Pradesh and housed in 402 relief centres. Efforts are being made to send them back in coordination with the governments of other states. About 4,000 workers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Odisha have been identified in Nellore district. In Krishna district, there are around 3,000 workers from Maharashtra alone.

More than 3,000 agriculture labourers from Maharashtra will be sent back on two Shramik Trains from Vijayawada to Ballarsha, most probably on Monday. “We sent their details to the Maharashtra government, sought its consent, and notified the railways. We will sent them back once consent is given,” said Krishna Babu. From Odisha, 1,925 migrant labourers are in AP, and their details were shared with the neighbouring state. “Once the Odisha government gives its consent, we will arrange a train for them,” Krishna Babu said. The Madhya Pradesh government has said 5,500 of its citizens are stranded in Andhra Pradesh.

The AP government, in coordination with other states, will make arrangements to run Shramik trains from Chittoor to Jabalpur, Vijayawada to Ratlam, Visakhapatnam to Coimbatore, Anantapur to Bhopal, Renigunta to Bhubaneswar, Renigunta to New Delhi, Eluru to Ghorakpur and Eluru to Patna to shift stranded migrant workers. These workers will be given special passes, and taken from relief centres to railway stations, where they will be given tickets.

Stay where you are, don’t rush to state borders, says CM Jagan

As it is expected that a large number of people will rush to the state, creating logistic and organisational problems, CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday appealed to people to stay where they are and not rush to the state’s borders as relaxations have only been granted for migrant labourers, as per the Central govt guidelines. He further urged people not to approach the borders, saying they could be putting their own lives at risk



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