Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala attributed the chaotic attempt of 'migrant workers' to flee big cities like Mumbai amid the lockdown as an "emotional" factor and not driven by financial compulsions. Following the scenes of lockdown violation by hundreds of migrant workers in Mumbai's Bandra Monday evening, Chautala asked the state government to take action in this regard.
A large group of 'migrant labourers' gathered in Bandra, demanding permission to return to their native states following the announcement of lockdown extension till May 3. They later dispersed after police and local leaders intervened and asked them to vacate.
Speaking to Republic TV, Chautala said, "It is not financial (compulsion) that migrant labourers want to go back (to their native place) because they are not getting their wages, but it is emotional. There is restlessness and that is not economic. People have the money, people are getting ration but I think it is more or less their emotional movement towards their family. People want to go back home because they have no work today."
He further stated ''Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases and they (migrants) have to understand that if they start moving around the country, who knows who is the carrier. The state government needs to act."
Claiming that Haryana has over 2.6 lakh migrant workers involved in several sectors, the deputy CM said the government is trying their best to provide essential commodities to those families and other governments need to do the same. "People need to be counselled today to stay back and help the government to fight COVID-19."
He further said that metropolitan cities like Gurgaon, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore have people living in densely packed societies where they get places of accommodation. "If we see an outbreak in such a community, then it becomes a risk factor and we might not be able to control it," Dushyant Chautala said, saying people need to be counselled on the issue.
On the issue of Tablighi Jamaat Markaz cluster, Dushyant Chautala said two-thirds of cases in the state are linked to those attendees and people who came in contact with them and their families have been under quarantine. He said that people have voluntarily disclosed their contact with Markaz attendees easing the burden on the administration. The leader also lauded healthcare workers and civil authorities who are at the frontlines of the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Haryana has so far reported 199 cases of COVID-19 of which three patients have died while 34 people have recovered.