Goa in talks with K'taka over migrant labourers trapped

Goa in talks with Karnataka over migrant labourers trapped in lockdown: CM

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant

The Goa government is in touch with neighbouring governments in Karnataka and Maharashtra over taking back of a large number of labourers from the two states, who are caught in the lockdown in the coastal state, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Sawant also said that while he was looking at reviving economic activity in the state, in view of the relaxations recommended by the Central Government through a set of guidelines, the Chief Minister ruled out opening up of the state's boders with Karnataka and Maharashtra, two states between which Goa is wedged in.

"If Karnataka is swilling to take their labourers back, they can. We are in touch with Karnataka and Maharashtra too. We have begun a conversation at the official level over facilitation of their transfer back home," Sawant said.

Thousands of labourers native to Karnataka, especially from districts like Belgaum, Bijapur, Karwar and Hubli district are currently stuck in Goa, on account of the Covid-19 lockdown. 

A large number of the labourers are housed in special camps set up by the state government across Goa.  
 
Sawant also said, that while the state government was in the process of kickstarting economic actvity in Goa, opening up of Goa's borders soon was not likely.
 
"We also want border lockdown to continue because Maharashtra and Karnataka are seeing an increase in the number of cases," Sawant said.
Goa had seven active Covid-19 cases when the pandemic broke out globally, all of whom were later treated, making Goa the country's first Covid-19 free state.