Stranded in Chennai, Odisha labourers buy boat for Rs 1.6 lakh to reach home during coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

Around ten Odiya labourers who were stranded in Chennai due to nationwide lockdown opted for the sea route to reach their home state Odisha. 

Stranded in Chennai, Odisha labourers buy boat for Rs 1.6 lakh to reach home during coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

CHENNAI: While the Centre and state governments are trying hard to ensure early return of migrants workers stranded in different parts of the country due to the coronavirus lockdown, some of them are taking desperate and unsafe measures to each their homes.

In one such incident, around ten Odiya migrant labourers, who were stranded in Chennai due to nationwide lockdown, opted for the sea route to reach their home state Odisha. 

According to reports, along with 17 other migrant workers from Andhra Pradesh, they bought a boat for Rs 1.6 lakh along with fuel for this dangerous sea voyage. However, after reaching Ichhapuram of the Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, they were detained by the alert policemen and put in a quarantine facility.

This incident comes at a time when normally Odisha labourers stranded in other states are trying to come to their home state either through hired vehicles by road or by walking. The ten Odiya labourers are from Sunapur of Odisha’s Ganjam district.

It is needless to mention that many labourers from Odisha work in the industries of Chennai. The imposition of lockdown has shut down industries in Chennai causing massive inconvenience in the income of labourers working there. This has forced many Odia labourers to return home, without paying any heed to lockdown norms.

Meanwhile, five more persons tested positive for novel coronavirus in Odisha on Tuesday, taking the total number of such cases to 79 in the state, a health department official said. All the fresh cases have been reported from Balasore district neighbouring West Bengal, he said.

"Contact-tracing of all the new cases are going on and follow-up action is also being taken," the official said.

Two COVID-19 cases including a two-year-old child were also reported from Balasore district on Monday. The number of active cases in the state now stands at 53 while 25 persons have been cured of the disease. A 72-year-old man from Bhubaneswar died of the coronavirus infection.

Of the 79 cases reported in the state, 46 are from Khurda district comprising Bhubaneswar, eight each from Balasore and Bhadrak, seven from Jajpur, three from Sundergarh, two each from Kendrapara and Kalahandi and one each from Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Puri districts.