80,000 Telangana workers likely to return from Gulf countries

Hyderabad: After losing jobs in Gulf countries, thousands of Telangana workers are returning to their hometowns. However, those who had booked their tickets to return home on chartered flights were in for a shock when an additional Rs 8,000 was charged during ticketing.

Due to coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdown, lakhs of Indian workers stranded in gulf countries have lost their job. A majority of them were Telangana workers. According to an estimate, nearly 80000 Telangana workers have registered their names in the council wanting to return to their country. The government had earlier borne the quarantine charges of workers who returned from various countries through chartered flights. But now while arrangement has been made for return of workers from Gulf countries, the state government is doing away with free quarantine facility for those returning home by chartered flights. The workers have already lost their jobs and have been denied salaries for the past three months. They are already facing financial crisis. Another Rs 8,000 on quarantine will be a huge burden on them.

Telangana workers have sought help from Non Government Organisations (NGOs) in this connection. While their companies have agreed to pay for return ticket, they are not ready to pay quarantine charges. Some NGOs active in Saudi Arabia have made representation with Central and state governments highlighting the plight of the workers. They have urged the government to restore the quarantine facility. Observing a demands’ day on Sunday they demanded that free quarantine should be extended to all the Gulf returnees irrespective of the flight — Vande Bharat or chartered — they take.

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According to the new rules that had been put in place by the Telangana government, Rs 8,000 per passenger for seven days of quarantine in a ‘standard hotel’ will have to be deposited prior to the flight take-off. The amount will have to be remitted to the bank account of the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation.

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