Mangaluru, April 26, 2020: Following directions from state government, migrant labourers are being sent to their native villages in batches in KSRTC buses since Friday night. As many as 60 buses from Mangaluru and Puttur KSRTC divisions were operated to help migrant labourers reach their native places on Friday night.
Divisional Controller of Mangaluru KSRTC Division S N Arun said 100 buses from Mangaluru and Puttur ferried stranded labourers on Saturday. Buses were disinfected before the journey, he said.
Buses also left from Dharmasthala, Bantwal, Puttur and Sullia to different destinations. In adherence to social distancing rules, each bus left with 20 to 22 labourers. While labourers had mouth masks, both KSRTC bus driver and conductor wore masks and gloves.
Puttur Tahsildar Ramesh Babu said labourers from Gadag, Bagalkote, Koppal, Vijayapura, Davangere, Shivamogga, Dharwad and Haveri districts, who had remained stranded in Puttur following the lockdown, were sent back to their villages. “We have a list of labourers from 18 districts who are stranded in the district,” he said.
Close on the heels of lockdown on March 24, migrant labourers had begun their march to respective villages. The authorities after stopping them had provided accommodation in hostels in Puttur, Kadaba, Sullia, Mangaluru, Moodbidri and other areas.
The stranded labourers were provided food by donors, NGOs and district administration.
The district administration decided to send back labourers after Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar issued directions to send labourers to their native villages for agricultural work or to cities for construction activities within Karnataka. As many as 343 labourers staying at Samaja Mandira in Moodbidri returned to their villages in 14 KSRTC buses on Friday night.
KSRTC buses from Mangaluru and Puttur divisions are also ferrying officials on duty. As many as seven buses are being used for the purpose.Health officials from Wenlock Hospital, Lady Goschen Hospital and DC office had utilised the services of the bus, sources added.
Courtesy: Deccan Herald