Chennai

Over 3 lakh guest workers set to return to Chennai

Applications for the return of 1,025 guest workers have been approved so far.

Applications for the return of 1,025 guest workers have been approved so far.   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

The city looks set to witness a massive influx of guest workers from other States. The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is gearing up for the return of these workers, who had earlier left for their native places amid the COVID-19 outbreak, by taking preventive steps to keep the spread of the virus in check.

At least three lakh guest workers left the city and suburbs for their native villages amid the pandemic.

In line with the standard operating procedure proposed by the State Labour and Employment Department for bringing guest workers back to facilitate a revival of industries, the government had granted permission to the district administration and GCC to issue e-passes to such workers.

GCC Deputy Commissioner (Revenue and Finance) Meghanatha Reddy said e-passes for 98 applications from companies and manpower agencies had been approved in Chennai for transporting 1,025 guest workers. More e-pass applications are expected from industries and manpower agencies this month.

The manpower agencies have been directed to bring the guest workers in their own vehicles at the company’s cost, and provide accommodation to them during the pandemic. The agencies have been advised to subject the workers to RT-PCR tests using their own funds and keep them under quarantine for 14 days on their premises before asking them to work. Officials of various line agencies would inspect the facilities before granting approval. Corporation officials would be responsible for transporting guest workers to hospitals in the event of an infection.

Civic officials said the State government had taken various initiatives to revive industrial and economic activity, with restrictions.

Companies and manpower agencies have been asked to provide details of guest workers, including name, residential address, Aadhaar number, mobile number, workplace address, vehicle details and the proposed place of quarantine.

GCC and line agencies have formed teams to regulate the process of the return of guest workers.

The Corporation has advised officials to visit the quarantine sites for guest workers in areas registering a rise in cases. The civic body has noticed a rising trend in positive cases in the western parts of the city, including Anna Nagar, Ambattur and Kodambakkam zones.

According to data provided by GCC, the case counts in other zones have reduced. The number of containment zones in the city has also reduced to 24, from over 1,000 in May. The percentage of positive cases reported among those with influenza-like illnesses at fever camps in the city has been 19 during the May-August period. The case fatality rate has crossed 3% in a few zones.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 3:32:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/over-3-lakh-guest-workers-set-to-return-to-chennai/article32280891.ece

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