Amid lockdown fear, migrants leaving Guj

Ahmedabad: Fearing another lockdown in the wake of a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in Gujarat, migrant workers and their families have started leaving Surat and Ahmedabad, two of the state's most severely affected cities.

However, government officials on Thursday claimed the number of those leaving was very low and people cannot be stopped from moving from one place to another.

"There are no formal reports which suggest that a large number of migrants are leaving. However, we have asked district authorities to ensure that workers do not face any trouble," state Additional Chief Secretary, Labour and Employment, Vipul Mittra told said.

Since there is no lockdown and trains are also running, people are free to move anywhere in the country, he said.

Mittra said though some people are going back to their native places, "it's not happening on large scale". In Ahmedabad, a number of migrant workers, mostly hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, have been rushing to the city's main Kalupur railway station to travel to their native places, said Yogesh Mishra, member of the Zonal Rail Users Consultative Committee.

In Surat, migrant workers belonging to UP, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand have been leaving in luxury buses, but their number is not very large, Surat Luxury Bus Operators Association president Dinesh Andhan said.

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