Telangana state IT Minister K Tarakarama Rao (KTR ) assured migrant labourers who were stuck in Hyderabad amid the lockdown that they would be taken care of. Telangana has imposed a curfew between 7 pm and 6 am in order to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, even as the state now reports 36 COVID-19 positive cases.
However, over 150 migrant labourers who work in the construction sector as masons or helpers in Hyderabad are stuck in the wake of state lock down prompted by the spread of COVID-19. According to the laborers, they all belong to Konathalam Panchayat in Rolugunta mandal of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
All of them are daily wage earners who make a living by building residential and commercial spaces in the public and private sectors.
Share their contact details. We will make sure they are safe and sound https://t.co/PEy0f35CZJ— KTR (@KTRTRS) March 24, 2020
Their ordeal was brought to light after Chakradhar, an RTI and rights activist, put up their plight on Twitter, urging the authorities to address their concerns.
Speaking to TNM, Potu Venkatarao, a migrant labourer who is stranded in the city, said that around 150 people, including women and some children were residing at Danam Nagender Street in the Banjara Hills area. All of them are in makeshift huts.
Around 150 migrant workers(Adda coolies)frm Rolugunta of Vishakapatanam hv stuck in #Hyd due2 #lockdown.Foodgrains wr over as they buy them day2day basis aftr taking daily wages.Govt shd either give them ration/ferry them back hme safely. #Covid19 @thenewsminute @dhanyarajendran pic.twitter.com/F2JQern09a— CharanTeja (@CharanT16) March 24, 2020
Venkatrao said, "We are running short of food grains and groceries, as we all buy groceries on a day-to-day basis after work. But there is no work available for the past three to four days. At this point in time, it has become difficult for us to go back to our village. The government should either send us back to our village or provide ration and other amenities."
The labourers were concerned that though the government of Telangana announced that it would provide free rice and Rs 1,500 in cash to purchase essential commodities for white ration card holders, they would not be eligible as they all hail from Andhra and do not have ration cards here.
When TNM reached out to Twin Cities Joint Commissioner of Labour Department about the issue, he asked us to approach the local police as 'everything is under their control'.
There are over 200 addas in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limit, from where thousands of daily wage workers including migrant labourers, get employment on a daily basis.