Telangana sees reverse flow of migrant workers from Bihar

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on May 08, 2020 Published on May 08, 2020

Hiring labourers from Bihar for paddy milling work

Even as thousands of migrant labourers are home-bound in the special Shramik trains, about 350 labourers from Bihar have arrived at Lingampally Railway Station here. They are here to work at rice mills in the State.

They are being sent to rice mills in six districts. “We are expecting about 5-6,000 of them in the next 3-4 days,” Narender, President of the Telangana Rice Millers’ Association, told BusinessLine.

“Telangana agriculture doesn’t depend much on migrant labourers in the sowing season. The farmers manage the sowing work with the help of locally available workers,” T Sagar, Secretary of the Telangana Rytu Sangham, said. The labourers from Bihar, who arrived at Lingampally Railway Station, were screened for Covid-19 before they headed for the hinterland.

Special trains

After the Union Home Ministry allowed the States to send stranded migrant labourers to their respective States, the Telangana government decided to run 40 trains a day this week. “The same trains that take you to Bihar and other States bring labourers from those States. They are going to work in the rice mills here,” Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had said.

Actually, the labourers, who take up work in the rice mills in Telangana, went to their native places in Bihar for Holi. They could not come back as the lockdown held them up there. “The government appointed an IAS officer to coordinate with the Bihar authorities to arrange for their travel,” an official of the Civil Supplies Department said.

Labour shortage

The farmers, however, faced difficulties in the harvest season as they could not find enough labourers due to restrictions on the movement of vehicles during the lockdown. Telangana reaped a bumper harvest in the rabi season, expecting up to one crore tonnes of paddy. The State government, which had decided to procure all of the paddy, maize and pulses, has procured 34 lakh tonnes of paddy as on Friday.

Published on May 08, 2020

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