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Last Updated : May 13, 2020 06:46 PM IST | Source: PTI

Coronavirus pandemic | Highway relief camps easing hardships of distressed migrants in and outside Maharashtra

According to officials, at least 39 such relief camps have been set up along the highways in the district, which lead to different places like Nashik, Ahmednagar, Satara and Solapur, which further go to different states.

Representative image
Representative image

The makeshift relief camps set by the Pune district administration in association with several villages along the highways are easing hardships of the migrant labourers, who are going on foot to their native places in and outside Maharashtra, officials said.

According to officials, at least 39 such relief camps have been set up along the highways in the district, which lead to different places like Nashik, Ahmednagar, Satara and Solapur, which further go to different states.

The migrants who are found walking on these highways are brought to the relief camps and given water, food and a place to rest before arrangement for their transportation is made, they said.


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Sambhaji Langore, Project Director, District Rural Development Scheme (DRDS), said 39 relief camps have been set up on key roads and highways in the district.

"We have deployed buses with the help of local gram panchayats and NGOs to ferry those migrant workers, who are spotted going on foot. They are then brought to the nearest relief camp in these buses," he said.

In majority cases, the marriage halls along the highways have been turned into makeshift relief camps. The local gram panchayats have been given responsibilities to look after their needs, such as breakfast, food, medical facilities and accommodation.

Langore said that so far around 4,000 migrants have been provided help at these relief camps.

Satish Markam, 23, who was brought to a relief camp at Chandoli village in Khed tehsil on Pune-Nashik highway, along with around 20 workers on Tuesday said, "We were given masks, sanitisers. The food provided to us and accommodation arrangements were good. All of us felt relaxed at the camp after walking for a long time."

He said they were also medically screened.

Markam said he used to work in Chakan MIDC area and wanted to go home in Amravati district of Maharashtra due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mayur Ugle, village development officer of Chandoli village, said that once the migrant workers are brought to the camp, they are given masks and sanitisers and asked to wash the hands properly.

"We then offer them water, food and also milk for children. We have spread some mattresses on the floor and fans so that these people can take rest," he added.

He added that currently they have over 400 migrant workers and their family members, mostly from Madhya Pradesh, staying at the camp and all have gone through medical screening.

"We classify them as per their states and districts and divide them into groups of 30 each so that they can be sent to their states through a specially arranged transport," he said.

Many of them leaving the city as they are perplexed and scared dueto the pandemic, while some others are leaving as businesses are closed, Ugle said.

"Officials from the district administration counsel them and give them confidence that they will be transported to their respective states safely and they need not walk," he added.

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First Published on May 13, 2020 06:36 pm