Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Balangir, Jan 15:
Local police today rescued as many as 87 migrant labourers at Loisingha in Odisha’s Balangir district.
Acting on a tip off, police swung into action and rescued these 87 migrant labourers from Loisingha railway station. Besides, a labour contractor has been detained for allegedly trafficking these labourers to outside the state.
It may be recalled that at least 384 migrant labourers were rescued in three incidents in Bolangir district in December last year. At least 307 migrant labourers were rescued from a garden in Kudebhatta village under Belapada block of whom 103 were men, 118 women and 86 children. In another incident, at least 51 migrant labourers were rescued from Onrabad Chhak in the sub-divisional town of Patnagarh in the district. The rescued labourers from Paikamal area in Bargarh district included 13 women and 12 children. Besides, district administration officials had rescued 26 migrant labourers from Lunahandi village under Belpara block in the district.
Despite several measures by the state government to prevent distress migration of labourers, there has been little change in the situation. Balangir, a district with a poverty ridden populace, is notorious for trafficking of migrant labourers to other states.
On December 22 last year, the state government had decided to identify and track migrant workers at the gram panchayat (GP) level for their welfare and safety.
In the first stage registration of migrant workmen at the gram panchayat level, the VLW (panchayat executive officer) will have to maintain a register in a format prescribed by the Labour and ESI department.
But the fact that yet another case of unregistered migrant labourers was found today proves that the government measure has not had the desired impact yet.