300 Odia migrant workers return to state in chartered planes

Bhubaneswar: Around 300 Odia migrant workers, who were stranded in the northeast, returned to their home state in two chartered planes from Imphal and Guwahati on Wednesday.

Their return was facilitated by the Odisha government.

“The state government, in coordination with private flight service Air Asia, facilitated the safe return of about 300 migrants from north-eastern states in two separate chartered flights today,” an official statement said.

This was part of the “Umeed Ki Udaan” initiative, which has become successful with the support of the state government, it said, adding that a special plane from Manipur carrying 138 migrant Odias, mostly labourers and students, landed at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here in the afternoon.

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All of them were sent to Kendrapara district by bus and will undergo institutional quarantine.

“The state government has undertaken a mission to safely bring back all migrant workers stranded in different parts of the country,” an official said.

He said planes are being arranged for those stranded in remote areas where rail services are not available and travelling on road is not possible. “The government will evacuate them by air,” the official said.

The Odia people who have been evacuated were stranded in Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Assam due to the nationwide lockdown.

While one plane carried migrant workers from Manipur, another ferried migrant workers from Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya. They were stranded in Tinsukia, Silchar, Dimapur, Kamarup and Sivasagar districts of Assam as also in Meghalaya.

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Dedicated teams of officers interacted with the state governments concerned and also the migrant workers, the official said.

They were brought back after completion of the formalities as per the COVID-19 protocols, he added.

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