GUWAHATI, Aug 18 - Faced with �unprecedented� destruction caused to human lives and property by flood, the Kerala government has chalked out special plans to rescue and repatriate the migrant workers, which include nearly 60,000 from Assam.
Ironically, the Assam government does not have any up-to-date statistics on such workers who had left the State for better employment opportunities outside, contrary to the laid down rules.
Assam contributes the second highest manpower to the �God�s own country�, second only to West Bengal. These migrant workers are mostly engaged in the tourism sector.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Labour Commissioner of the Kerala Government, A Alexander, informed that of the three lakh registered migrant workers, who are also referred to as guest workers, 20 per cent are from Assam, which would be around 60,000. �West Bengal constitutes 40 per cent of the total guest workers,� he said.
�We have started round-the-clock facilitation centres for those in distress. Guest workers can avail the helpline services (04712330833 and 07012109743) which will also be available in Assamese language, besides Bengali, Odiya and Hindi. Once the railways and other modes of transport start operating, we would also facilitate their travel back home on need basis,� he said.
Alexander, when asked, however informed that the Assam government is yet to contact their Kerala counterparts in this regard. �So far, only the Odisha government has contacted us expressing their concern for the migrant workers from their state,� he said.
�Fortunately, there are no reports of death of any migrant worker so far,� the Labour Commissioner said.
Later in the evening, Labour and Skills Minister TP Ramakrishnan, in an official statement, said that the government has taken effective steps so that the guest workers are safe and secure.
�As the flood and calamity situation turns worse, the Kerala government has also started a state-level coordination centre at Thiruvananthapuram for assisting the guest workers and to other people in distress,� a statement issued by CF Dileep Kumar, publicity officer, Labour and Skills Department stated.
More than 300 people have reportedly died so far due to floods in Kerala, while lakhs have been rendered homeless, the worst affected being Ernakulam, Thrissur and Chengannur.