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K’taka CM asks migrants to stay back in state

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K’taka CM asks migrants to stay back in state

Bengaluru: With further easing of lockdown norms despite its extension by 2 more weeks, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday urged migrant workers to stay back, as economic activities would soon resume across the state.

“I request migrant workers to stay back in the state and cooperate with us to resume economic activities under the new guidelines from the Central government,” Yediyurappa said in a statement here.

Admitting that migrant workers were the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as it had stalled economic activity, the Chief Minister said the state government had advised the industry and trade bodies to protect their jobs and pay March and April wages to them in full.

“As the Covid-19 situation in India is much better than in other countries, we are resuming economic activities from May 4 as per the new guidelines,” asserted Yediyurappa.

The Union Home Minister on Friday further extended the lockdown up to May 17 from May 4 after its 19-day second phase since April 15 ends on May 3. The first phase of 21-day lockdown began on March 25 and ended on April 14.

Yediyurappa’s appeal came a day after state Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar appointed nodal officers to oversee the movement of migrant workers and students to their respective states across the country by special train and buses from Bengaluru and other cities across the state.

“The South Western Railway zone has also agreed to run special trains to ferry migrant workers, pilgrims, students, tourists and other persons, stranded since March 25, to their states after the state government screens and certifies them to be free from the virus symptoms,” a state official told IANS here.

According to the state labour department, there are over 2 lakh migrant workers in Karnataka, who have been housed at hundreds of relief camps in cities and towns across the southern state, as they were stranded because trains and buses were suspended since the lockdown was enforced on March 25 and extended on April 15.

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