Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said that people from Odisha -- stranded in other states but who want to return -- will have to mandatorily register their names at the panchayat level.
"Those who want to return to Odisha must register before they return. Relatives and friends can register with the gram panchayats concerned. Returnees will stay for free in quarantine facilities for 14 days and then also given Rs 2,000 each as incentive," said the Chief Minister in a video message.
To implement this effectively and with humane touch, Odisha is delegating powers of District Collectors to sarpanches in their respective jurisdictions, he added.
Every gram panchayat will have a registration facility, where relatives of the persons who wish to return can register on their behalf.
"Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary solutions. Empowering panchayats and urban local bodies will facilitate smooth movement, and track and monitor the returnees, and strengthen our fight against COVID-19," said Patnaik.
"In my view every life is precious and has to be protected in a dignified manner. The involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions will go a long way in helping," he added.
When the lockdown restrictions are lifted, Odisha in coordination with the host states and government of India, will facilitate the return of all those who want to return home, said the Chief Minister.
While about one lakh persons from other states are stranded in Odisha, there are lakhs of people from Odisha, including a large number of workers, are stranded in other states.
"In spite of the best efforts of our state and the host states life is not normal for them and it pains me," he said.