Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu to create databank of migrant workers

Thangam Thennarasu, Tamil Nadu Minister for Industries. Photo : Bijoy Ghosh  

In a first, Tamil Nadu will soon create a digital databank of migrant workers employed in industries, particularly the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and hospitality sectors, across the State, Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu said on Sunday.

“The Industries Department is of the view that it is pertinent to create a database of migrant workers in the State. There are a few lakhs of labourers from various States engaged in industries across Tamil Nadu. A majority of them went home during the peak of COVID-19. We need to have a clear record on how many returned to work, their vaccination status and other identification details,” Mr. Thennarasu said.

Major industries rely on a few labour contractors for hiring workforce. Each contractor has about 50,000 workers from States such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal.

“We will launch the exercise of mapping migrant workers in districts like Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chennai and Chengalpattu, where their concentration is high,” he said.

He said the exercise will not just help weed out illegal immigrants and anti-social elements, but also in building a data portal on industry-wise employment scenario. Though not a foolproof mechanism, the real-time data management system could be of immense use in the event of an emergency.

“Whenever new investments come in, the industries assure employment to thousands of workers. But there is no mechanism now to follow up on that…the database will help to assess such job opportunities and analyse the workforce on certain parameters like skills.”

Security alert

The decision to create a centralised data of migrant workers in the State comes close on the heels of intelligence agencies issuing a specific alert in the second week of July, 2021, on how illegal immigrants were posing a serious threat to internal security.

It was reported that a large number of Bangladeshi nationals were residing illegally in many districts, including Chengalpattu, Erode, Kancheepuram and Tiruppur, under the guise of Indians. The immigrants had no valid travel documents but managed to procure Indian documents like Aadhaar Card by posing as residents of West Bengal.

After many such illegal immigrants indulged in offences like drug peddling, intelligence agencies issued the alert to senior police officers in all cities/districts to apprehend them and initiate appropriate action under the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 1:29:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/databank-of-migrant-workers-soon-says-tamil-nadu-industries-minister/article35530808.ece

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