BHOPAL: The bus accident on Gwalior highway on Tuesday morning that was heading to Tikamgarh has rung an alarm bells for the state government. The 52-seater bus was carrying migrant labourers double to its seating capacity.
Reports suggest that there are several buses like this in which migrant workers are returning to their native places. Till now, the workers were coming from Maharashtra and Gujarat but with Delhi government announcing lockdown measures, workers have started rushing back to their homes.
Migrant workers had their first impact in districts adjoining Gujarat. Large numbers of workers belonging to Bhil community returned from Gujarat, to celebrate their annual Bhagoriya festival. They spread along Jhabua, Alirajpur, Ratlam and Dhar districts. Jhabua registered 193 corona positive cases on Monday while Alirajpur 52, Ratlam 171 and Dhar 163 cases.
Bundelkhand region in MP registers highest number of migration. The ill-fated bus was heading to Tikamgarh that had registered 253 corona positive cases on Monday. Similarly, other districts from Bundelkhand like Chhatarpur recorded 176 cases and Sagar registered 186 corona positive cases on Monday.
Although the state government has issued instructions for institutional quarantine of migrant workers returning home but ground reports suggest it is not being followed.
‘During first wave of covid pandemic we were fortunate that it did not spread in the villages but this time several corona positive cases are being reported from villages. Influx of the migrant workers is expected to add to the problems,’ said a district official from Tikamgarh.
Another government official not wishing to be named said that reverse migration of workers has started and it is expected to continue for few more days after announcement of lockdown by the Delhi government.
The panchayat and rural development department has pressed its field staff for distribution of medical kits to the people in need. Moreover, government has also instructed to take government buildings like schools and colleges to convert them into Covid care centres but with limited infrastructure and short supply of medical needs still remains the biggest challenge.