The Karnataka government has decided to allow one time inter-state movement for students and migrant workers who wish to return to their home, state Law Minister Madhuswamy said today. The minister, however, added that the entry to the state will be subject to tests.
"We have agreed in principle to allow a one-time interstate movement. Exit will be free. Entry into Karnataka will be subject to tests. This covers both students and labour. Inter district movement of labour groups is also allowed," Mr Madhuswamy said after a cabinet meeting.
The state government is still chalking out plan to bring back migrant workers and students who have been stranded in other states following the March 25 lockdown that was imposed to control the spread of coronavirus. The government has appointed officers to oversee the travel of migrants to and from the state.
Among the major challenges faced by the officers include to identify the unregistered migrant workers who are working in other states and bring them back to the state. "We need to get in touch with other states to see how we go about it. The registration of migrant workers is also still going on. Huge numbers remain unregistered," Karnataka government's Nodal Officer for migrant labourers, G Kumar Naik, told NDTV.
"Many tell me, we want to see our families. Then we will decide. And they ask me - what if there is another lockdown," he added.
The officer says handling the whole issue has been an unprecedented challenge. "We have handled floods and droughts, he said. "But here we do not know what is going to happen ahead," he added.
Lakhs of manual labourers have been rendered homeless and left without food after the government ordered the lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus that has killed over 1,000 people cross the country.
Thousands of lobourers, in absence of regular income and sometimes even food and shelter, started making their way back to their villages on foot after the lockdown started.
Nearly a month into the lockdown, the centre on Wednesday granted permission -- with a set of guidelines-- for all stranded people, migrant labourers, students and tourists to return to their home state.