Coronavirus India: Goa begins to send migrant workers home

IANS
Thursday, 30 April 2020

"The online transit passes for stranded migrant workers will be issued by the Goa administration from Friday. The workers will have to pay for their transit passage. All those who have the money (to buy tickets), we will send them first," Lobo told reporters in Panaji on Thursday.

Panaji: The migrant workers stranded in Goa who have the money to pay for their transit passage back home, will be transported to their respective states first, Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo said on Thursday. Lobo also said, that the state administration would get in touch with the destination states and request the authorities there, to pay for the transit of the migrant workers, who are short on money to pay their transit fare.

"The online transit passes for stranded migrant workers will be issued by the Goa administration from Friday. The workers will have to pay for their transit passage. All those who have the money (to buy tickets), we will send them first," Lobo told reporters in Panaji on Thursday.

The transit of stranded migrant workers is a part of a lockdown relaxation measure announced by the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday.

Lobo also said that in case of those migrant workers who do not have the money to book a passage home, the District Magistrates in Goa would write to their counterparts in other states -- where the migrant workers hail from -- to fund the cost of transit.

Lobo, who is an elected Legislator from the Calangute Assembly constituency, a well known beach and nightlife destination, said that there were nearly 25,000 migrant workers stranded in his constituency alone, most of whom were employed in hotels, beach shacks, water sports facilities and in casinos.

The Minister also said that the state's Panchayats and municipal bodies had been instructed to create a database of stranded workers who are keen on going back home.

"We are worried about these people. They are just moving aournd here and there in search of food and groceries. Some of them do not have money. We plan to send them back," Lobo said, adding that the state transport corporation buses as well as private bus operators were being roped into facilitating the transport of migrant workers back to their respective homes.

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