Bolangir/Kantabanji: Thousands of migrant labourers had come back from various states to Bolangir amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The government laid stress on creating job opportunities for them through MGNREGS for their sustenance.
However, it was alleged that most of the migrant returnees had to sit idle because they failed to get adequate work to keep their pots boiling.
COVID situation is yet to subside, but many migrants have started going back to their workplaces in different states. Cashing on this, labour contractors are visiting villages in the district, offering advances to the poor labourers.
Bolangir is one of the state’s major migration-prone districts. The real number of residents migrating from the district is four times higher than that registered with the labour department, according to social activists and unofficial sources.
Over a lakh migrant labourers had come back to the district. For the last four months, most labourers had no work amid the administration’s efforts to provide them job opportunities.
In Bolangir, the migration season usually begins after Nuakhai. After this festival, labour contractors from other states have started giving advances to people in Turekela block.
The contractors are trying to lure them to brick kilns while the local administration is reportedly worried over this problem.
Most of these people work in brick kilns in Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Besides, in recent times, young people from the villages have been migrating to work in malls and hotels in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
According to some migrants, whatever money they had with them has been exhausted, making life miserable. Now they have no way out but to receive advance from labour contractors to go back to their workplaces, they observed.
It was alleged that many migrants have not yet received their COVID assistance.
Now, the migrants are returning to their workplaces putting their health at risk.
District labour officer Suresh Kumar Behera did not respond to our reporter’s phone call.