Lockdown of Maha: Fearing the return of misfortunes, migrants rush to their hometowns
Vishal Kori, 25, is disturbed by memories of last year’s Covid-19 lockdown, when he had to walk for 10 days to his hometown of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. He was among the millions of migrants, most of Maharashtra’s workforce from the end of March, who hung out together for days, braving the sweltering summer heat to reach their destinations. . However, as the Covid-19 pandemic subsided, these migrants made a comeback after a few months.
According to the state, at least 1.2 million workers from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha left Maharashtra after the lockdown was announced on the 24th. March. no chance as he stands in a queue for train tickets to return to his hometown. “I’m not taking any risks because Mumbai faces a large number of Covid-19 cases and my store is closed. I better get back quickly before things go wrong, ”said Kori, who works in a shoe store.
The Maharashtra government led by Uddhav Thackeray imposed a mini lockdown from Tuesday due to the surge in Covid cases, which has now reached more than 50,000 a day statewide. “Mumbai is no longer safe and I had better go back to Jharkhand. I don’t think I’ll be back because I’ll be looking for a job in Delhi or Noida, ”said Jamal Khan, 44, a chef at a city hotel.
Traders, especially in the hotel industry, are worried. Mirah Hospitality, which operates 14 hotels including Rajdhani, Hitchki and Bayroute in Maharashtra, which currently operated with 650 staff, has seen 300 workers return to their home states. “There is no way to stop them. Some of our employees are trying to find jobs in Bangalore and Delhi, ”said Aji Nair, COO (Food and Beverage Division), Mirah Hospitality. Currently, the government has allowed hotels and restaurants to only offer parcel services, which has crippled this industry. The Maharashtra Chamber of Industry and Commerce Associations (CAMIT), which represents the traders, called the situation a sad situation. “Our members are doing their best to dissuade these workers from returning. However, if the government continues with this mini lockdown and does not allow us to open our establishments, there is no way to keep them. This loss of labor will hurt the state’s economy, ”warned Mohan Gurnani, President of CAMIT. “We were barely recovering when this mini lockdown was imposed. We took out loans and paid our license fees up front, ”said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, spokesperson for the West Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (HRAWI).