Kendrapara: Migrants returning homes here has sparked fear of a rise in infiltration by the Bangladeshi immigrants into the area, a report said. The return of migrants due to the spread of Covid-19 last year is being reenacted this year following a resurgence of the pandemic in Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Fearing that the government might reimpose lockdown, they have started returning home. On the other hand, the number of positive cases has started rising in the district.
Residents apprehend that the immigrants taking advantage of the situation might infiltrate into remote and seaside areas. They claim that as several immigrants have settled down in remote corners of the district the second wave of the pandemic might prove opportune for them to enter the area.
They demanded the district administration intervene and thwart the infiltration attempts by the immigrants. Reports said Ashok Das, a native of Niala village under Aul block, recently returned home from Surat along with his family. Das said the Covid infection is rapidly spreading in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The disease is expected to pick up in Gujarat which lies close to Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, the situation is alarming as 60,000 people were identified as Covid positive on a single day. Both the state governments have reimposed restrictions to check the spread of Covid infections.
The migrants fear the respective government might impose lockdown in coming days and are rushing back home, he said. Roshan Kumar Singh of Pattamundai said his brother working in Kerala has come back with his family from Kerala due to a sharp rise in Covid infections in that state.
Senior citizen Pratap Kumar Padhi, social activists Amarbar Biswal and Debashis Samal said after Ganjam, the maximum number of people working outside the state is from Kendrapara as the area lacks industries or mines.
According to a survey carried out by a private agency, over 50 per cent of the Odia workforce outside of the state comprises youths and women from Rajnagar, Rajkanika, Aul and Pattamundai. The second wave of the Covid infection has panicked them pushing them to return home.
Official sources said 10,768 migrants returned to the district last year but in reality, over 3 lakh migrants returned home. Even Bollywood actor Sonu Sood had to intervene to facilitate return of 130 women stuck in Kerala last year.
When contacted, ADM Basant Rout said the administration has made all arrangements and stress is being led on mass vaccination, social distancing, wearing of masks to check the spread of the virus.