BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Sunday decided to be strict with implementation of guidelines on the migrant returnees following reports of fleeing from the quarantine centres in Ganjam district.
Announcing the decision, chief secretary Asit Tripathy warned that returnees who are creating nuisance and fleeing from the temporary medical centres will be shifted to quarantine centres away from their home district. “Violators will be arrested, quarantine period will be extended and no incentive will be paid to them,” he said.
Earlier in the day, over 100 migrants, kept in two schools in Ganjam after returning from Surat, had fled the quarantine centres. The chief secretary further said that Odisha had been able to contain the spread of novel coronavirus with frontline workers working 24/7 across the state and therefore, there was no room for any compromise.
The chief secretary said that buses bringing migrants have to follow the route mentioned in the permits. “Those without pass and carrying people more than the prescribed limit will be returned back,” he said.
Meanwhile, minister for commerce and transport Padmanabha Behera said that the state government is contemplating to change the routes of the buses carrying the migrants after two accidents on the Kalinga Ghati during the last two days.
Kalinga Ghati in Kandhamal district has witnessed two bus accidents since Saturday night. These buses, carrying stranded migrant workers from Surat, were enroute Ganjam when the accidents took place leaving two dead and several injured.
The Minister said that accidents are occurring as the drivers are not acquainted with the route. Besides, the drivers do not have experience of driving in hilly terrains, Behera said and added that route of the buses will be changed. The buses carrying migrants will now take the Madhapur route in Boudh district and enter Ganjam via Odagaon in Nayagarh, he said.
Behera, however, said that trains should be the preferred mode of transportation for the migrants. “Trains are safe, but the migrants are returning on their own,” he said.