In a major development that has potentially caused concerns to the businesses and industries, more than 12 lakh people have registered to leave Karnataka out of which 80 percent are workers.
As per the data from the Seva Sindhu Portal until Wednesday, 11.6 lakh people had registered wishing to leave the state. Out of this, 8.3 lakh people were from stranded workers who wanted to reach their homes. Around 1.4 lakh applications were those who wanted to leave the state along with the family. Apart from the workers, 2.5 lakh people are stranded tourists, students and pilgrims. As of now, over 2.9 lakh people have already left the state through the state-organized Shramik Special Trains. J Crasta, the national executive member of the FICCI said,
“Although the government says we can operate with up to 33 percent of our strength, not more than 10 to 20 percent of the workers have reported back to work. It is especially a problem with skilled labor and the fact that this is happening when we are already dealing with lack of raw materials, working capital, and more importantly, demand makes the situation worse.”
Government under pressure
The government too is under stress to ensure smooth travel of the workers. A senior official dealing with the workers’ registration say that they have witnessed a huge jump in the number of registrations after the state announced that it would bear their cost of travel. The official said,
“While there were applications even earlier, we have seen a sudden spurt now, which is overwhelming. We are working with the railways and other states to ensure that all these people travel back safely but you must understand that no state has people in the administration who have the experience of dealing with such mass exodus in their careers.”
Of the 9.1 lakh workers who have registered to leave Karnataka, close to 60 percent of them want to go to five states i.e. – Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Odisha. Over 55 percent of those who want to leave the state reside in its capital city of Bengaluru with 5 lakh people in Bengaluru Urban and the 50,000 of them in Bengaluru Rural.
Source: The Times of India