Thermal screening of migrant workers
Thermal screening of migrant workers
FP Photo

Patna: Agitated over the denial of basic facilities and food in some of the quarantine centres in Bihar, migrant workers who had returned from other parts of the country on Saturday escaped from such centres at Nawada, Katihar, Banka and Gaya. They have alleged that they were forced to make arrangements for food from their villages.

On Saturday morning, about 70 workers moved out of the quarantine centre at Adarsh Inter-School in Nawada district’s Sirdalla area complaining that they had been denied food in the centre. They were staying in the centre for the last six days.

In another quarantine facility at ITI training centre, migrant workers who had returned from Kerala recently had come out of the centre alleging that there was no provision of basic facilities. They claimed that even drinking water was not available.

At a centre in Katihar, the migrants broke open the gate of the centre and came out on the streets complaining they were being denied even food.

At Amarlpur in Banka district bordering Jharkhand, inmates in the quarantine centre revolted and moved out of the campus alleging that authorities were not providing them with food.

At Guraru in Gaya district in central Bihar, migrant workers who had recently returned from Mumbai rebelled alleging they were forced to bring food from their villages as food was not available in the centre. Migrants have been put in quarantine centres opened in the school premises nearest to their villages. 

There are over 3,500 quarantine centres in different parts of the 37 Corona affected districts in Bihar where migrants returning from Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan have been kept for the statutory 21-day quarantine.

Over 20,000 students and workers have reached different parts of the state in last one week. Thirteen Shramik special trains reached Gaya, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Danapur and Motihari stations on Saturday. Two special trains from Godhara and Rajkot in Gujarat also reached here. On Monday, 14 special trains are scheduled to arrive Bihar.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked the officials to take cognizance of all complaints and to be sensitive to the problems of the returnee workers. He has also directed the officers to start surveying the skills of individual workers to create a data bank to engage skilled workers in different private and government schemes in Bihar. Kumar has also asked officials to be strict in screening and testing all workers and students coming from outside the state.

With all except one of Bihar’s 38 districts becoming affected by the novel coronavirus as of Saturday, the number of positive cases rose to 590.

The Bihar Military Police jawans who were engaged in law and order duties in the crowded areas during lockdown have also been affected. 17 jawans from the BMP 14th battalion have been put under quarantine in a centre opened at Pataliputra sports stadium in Kankarbagh Colony. One doctor too has been admitted to the centre after he tested positive.

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