Covid-19 cases on the rise in KK region due to reverse migration of workers
Lack of jobs in the absence of irrigation facility and industries, consistent drought, poverty and illiteracy have forced the people of Kalyana Karnataka region to migrate to metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru in search of employment to eke out their living. People of Kalaburagi, Bidar and Yadgir districts migrate in large numbers to the cities of Maharashtra because of huge employment opportunities there as real estate business is at its peak in the country’s financial capital, Pune and other cities.
The region is now grappling with Covid-19 infections after these migrant workers returned to their native places from Maharashtra which is considered to be the worst affected State in India. The exodus of migrant workers started with the relaxation given for the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (HKCCI) president Amarnath Patil told DH that per capita income of the district is around Rs 141. Illiteracy, lack of will power among politicians of the region to bring industries and big projects which will create jobs for local people are the main reasons for the backwardness. Political leaders of this region will always play a second fiddle instead of thinking about the development of the region. They have grown in politics but kept the region undeveloped, he alleged. Hyderabad Karnataka Horata Samiti vice-president Razaak Ustad said a large number of people are landless in Kalyana Karnataka region. The people from Yadgir, Gurmatkal, Kembavi and parts of Manvi, Deodurg and Lingasugur will migrate to Maharashtra, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in search of jobs. They are unable to get jobs under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme due to local politics, he said.
The region even lacked small scale industries. Kalaburagi district has cement industries but workers are hired from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other States. Employment should be generated locally to prevent the migration, he opined.
Echoing the same opinion, Karnataka Rajya Pranta Raitha Sangha vice-president Maruti Manpade blamed the elected representatives for the present plight of region. The question of people migrating to other cities would not have arose if the politicians had brought and implemented irrigation projects, he said.
Admitting that number of Covid-19 positive cases are spiking from Maharashtra returnees, Raichur Deputy commissioner R Venkatesh Kumar said about 3,500 migrant workers from Maharashtra have travelled back to the district so far and they have been quarantined institutionally. Positive cases are being reported from those returned from Andheri, Mumbai and Vikhroli of Maharashtra, he said.
Infections are seeing the biggest rise due to Maharashtra returnees in Yadgir and Kalaburagi districts also.