Consequences can be damaging if migrants don’t return : The Tribune India

Open House

Consequences can be damaging if migrants don’t return

Make Covid test mandatory for the labour force, don’t let them roam around, follow all SOPs, provide food & employment

Consequences can be damaging if migrants don’t return

A woman labourer with her child in search of work in Chandigarh. File photo

Open House: Should returnees be allowed to come back or tricity borders sealed?

Punjab govt should help returnees

The first lesson of humanity teaches us to give helping hand to needy person. Citizens of India should not be deprived of health and other facilities on any grounds. Punjabis are known for their sacrifice and love in distressed situations. The Punjab Government should walk a step ahead to help returnees from other states in this pandemic instead to leaving them to their fate.

BS Dhillon, Mohali

Travelling not a good option

Since implementation of the Unlock 1, lakhs of migrant labourers have been sent to their native places. The government and the authorities concerned are making efforts to provide them food and jobs through MNREGA like schemes in their own states. In this hard time, travelling again means spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Ankitaa Sharmaa, Chandigarh

Screen them before entry into tricity

Returnees from other states should be screened at entry points of the tricity by the authorities concerned. The paramedical staff can do thermal scanning of temperature, cold or any other disease, which causes Covid-19. Migrants can be allowed to enter tricity only after clearance. Certificates may be issued to them to this effect. Returnees found with signs of Covid should be quarantined at government expenses and allowed entry only after clearance from the authorities.

Col TBS Bedi (retd), Mohali

Sealing is not a long-term solution

Sealing inter-state or inter-district or tricity borders may delay the spread of coronavirus for the time being, but it will not contribute to the long term solution to the problem for which tracing, testing and isolation needs to be intensified in an unprecedented manner. We are already witnessing its fallout in traffic bottlenecks on borders jeopardising the lives of not only commuters but the police staff on duty too.

Prof Manjit Kaur, Mohali

Not right time for free movement

Sealing borders of the UT will bring more hardship to the general public. Regulating returnees will be a better idea. Otherwise, it will add fuel to the fire. Covid-19 will keep troubling us in the near future. There is need to put in place effective regulations in every sphere. It is not the right time to allow free movement of people.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Allow them to return with precautions

It is important for outsiders to visit the city, which houses good hospitals. Being capital to two states Chandigarh has many offices. The local airport caters to the needs of passengers from all the three states, including HP. So, it is not advisable to stop entries of outsiders, who need medical facilities or who want to look after their elders or who want to get their work done from offices. In view that outsiders may not carry infection the authorities should allow them to enter tricity with due precautions.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

Time to rebuild their lives

The authorities in the tricity should allow migrants back with open heart and precautions. They have families, who need our help. Migrants are the people, who built our homes and serve us in many ways. They make us comfortable in our homes while they don't have one of their own. Now, is the payback time to bring their lives back on track. Let's welcome them and rebuild their lives.

Jasmeet Kaur, Chandigarh

Empathise with them

We should be emphatic towards this vulnerable class, which has a major role in economic activities. They must not be considered as carriers of the pandemic and be treated with compassion instead of hate. It is high time that the state governments honour the directive of the Central Government else the country will have negligible economic activity.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur

It'll be wise to seal borders

Increasing number of Covid cases in the tricity is a cause of concern. The situation will go out of hands if outsiders continue to pour in the tricity. Residents will contract virus easily. It will be wise if the authorities seal borders for the safety of residents. The police must keep tight vigil to prevent the entry of outsiders in the tricity.

MR Bhateja, Nayagaon

Be helpful and sympathetic

We must be empathetic and sympathetic towards returnees from other states. After all, they are also human beings. During normal days, they worked for us in the capacity of domestic helpers, labourers, workers and companions. We cannot completely ignore them in these difficult and testing times. Central and state governments must collectively take care of their transport, food, employment and rehabilitation.

Dr Karan Singh Vinayak, Chandigarh

Extra vigil is need of the hour

Having once failed to check the exodus of migrant laborers, which has adversely affected the industrial growth and development works, the UT Administration and the Punjab and Haryana Governments will now do well to thoroughly screen all returnees and those coming from the hotspots like Delhi at entry points and quarantine all suspected cases. They should be looked after well enough before letting them join the main stream. Such an action will prevent the spread of coronavirus from infected returnees.

SC Luthra, Chandigarh

Sealing border is temporary solution

Sealing border is a temporary solution for Covid-19 pandemic. The Administration should allow migrants from other states back in the tricity and make special arrangements for their quarantine. Returnees should be screened at entry points and fined if they don't follow preventive guidelines. Local residents can pass on information to the Administration about people coming to the tricity.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh

Many loopholes in process of return

Sealing borders seems to be a better option as the process of allowing returnees with precautions and regulations will surely have many loopholes. If this process is followed properly, it can be effective. Returnees must be quarantined for 14 days after they enter the tricity. If needed, their complete tests can be conducted. Legally we can't refuse anyone to move from one place to another, but in the present situation we are helpless. So, sealing borders and that too with strictness is an effective method of reduce the Covid-19 cases in the tricity.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Chandigarh

Common strategy to control virus

With the opening of state borders and movement of persons through roads, trains and flights, virus infection could increase substantially. Coordination should with neighbouring states is must so that a common strategy can be formed to screen returnees coming to the tricity and conduct their tests. Returnees must be quarantined for at least one week.

Vijay Malia, Chandigarh

Stop entry to tricity for two months

The authorities of the tricity should ban the entry of returnees for at least two months till the danger of coronavirus reduces substantially. In emergency cases, returnees should thoroughly be checked and allowed entry only if found negative for the disease. This will certainly reduce the fear of spreading virus in the region.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Banning returnees is unconstitutional

Returnees from other states are not aliens, but our fellow citizens. Their contribution, even if for mutual benefit, in farms, factories and infrastructure projects cannot be underrated. Denial movement across state-borders is unconstitutional. It is hypothetical that returnees add to Covid infection load in the tricity. Health may be a state subject, but it is inhumane to deny entry/treatment to limit coronavirus count in the tricity. There is no India without states and UTs. Screening/checking can be helpful. Corona knows no barriers or borders. So why should parochialism creep in?

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula

Check for Covid symptoms at border

Sealing the border to control rising Covid cases in the tricity is not a solution. Important thing is to manage and handle the situation. Returnees crossing borders should be checked for Covid symptoms. Though it is time consuming, necessary to curb the surge in Covid cases. Isolation wards on borders can handle symptomatic cases. Passes should be mandatory for interstate movements. Limited number of people should be allowed to move from one state to the other. Masses should understand the gravity of situation and restrict their interstate movement and follow protocol.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Partial sealing of borders must

Returnees from other states are adding to woes of the Administration in the tricity as most are bringing coronavirus with them. At this juncture, sealing of borders is the only way to stop the spread of disease. Therefore, the government should partially seal borders if complete sealing is not possible.

Priyam Aggarwal, Chandigarh

Give priority to health

Allowing migrants back from their home states is not at all advisable as they may be carriers of the virus. It will be in the interests of migrants that they stay at their present places and come back only when the rate of infection subsides. Health of all should be given top priority. No such action should be taken at the moment, which worsens the pandemic.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Sealing borders is pragmatic step

Permitting people from other states with some precautions and regulations is no more than a theoretical approach because individuals follow rules as per their convenience. Sealing borders temporarily, on the other hand, seems pragmatic as it will ensure a tighter security and more importantly, limit the spread of virus infection. Although people might not like it, such desperate actions can guard all.

Bhavna Sharma, Chandigarh

Medical checkup before travelling

Closed borders have led to economic damage. It has affected the livelihood of many. We cannot afford to seal the tricity borders. Returnees should go for a medical checkup before travelling and show their medical record to the authorities concerned before entering the tricity.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Unfit to handle complex task

To ensure that returnees from other states do not add Covid case of the tricity is easier said than done. It entails cumbersome procedures besides ready availability and expert application of testing gadgets. Given our callous approach to disciplined living, we are unfit to handle such a complex task. It would thus be wise to seal borders for some time again.

DR SS Bhatti, Chandigarh

Try to live with the epidemic

After opening borders, it is not in the interest of the tricity economically to seal it again. The authorities should check people at bus stands, railway stations and airport. Suspected cases should be sent to quarantine and self-isolation. As the epidemic has come to stay, we should try to live with it. People should cooperate with the authorities concerned by following their instructions religiously to defeat this monster.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh

Focus on restoring normalcy

Sealing borders is not the answer. Our focus should be to gradually restore normalcy with due precautions. People have to move in/out of Chandigarh in connection with their work. People coming from other states need to be screened at entry points, with their tests done and home address noted. They should be informed about Covid test results. Returnees from other states should inform the UT Administration in advance so that their screening and tests can be done on time.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala

Welcome them, but with caution

Covid 19 cases are spreading fast in the tricity because as more and more returnees are coming back. Welcome returnees with caution. Check travel history of returnees, strengthen surveillance, regularly screen them and home quarantine those found Covid positive. To fill the vacuum of migrants and get the economy moving, the Administration should register landless poor people in the periphery, who have been earning their livelihood in Chandigarh as vendors. It will help them earn, generate revenue and contribute to economic growth in the tricity.

Col Balbir Singh Mathauda (Retd), Chandigarh

Sealing will defeat purpose of Unlock 1.0

Many visitors have been found Covid positive. The rising infection in the tricity is not a threat to the local public, but a challenge for the authorities concerned to combat the Covid surge. To seal borders in order to control virus will defeat the purpose of Unlock 1.0, as it would create hassles for the public, for those working in the tricity and daily wagers. The authorities should enhance checking at entry points and allow entry of those, who are uninfected and registered in the tricity.

SS Arora, Mohali

Administration cannot take risk

The circumstances may turn unfavorable if frequent entry to returnees is allowed. Also, it would be unjustified to stop the entry of original natives of the city, who live in other states or abroad for different reasons and wish to reunite with their families. They should be allowed entry with the condition of self-quarantine for 14 days. On the other hand, the Administration cannot afford to take risk while allowing migrants to return.

Surinder Paul Wadhwa, Mohali

Stricter check for those entering tricity

It may be prudent to go for strict checking of persons entering the tricity from red zones or having travelling history or contacts while adhering to the safety protocol. Do not seal interstate borders. Hassle free and hazard free travelling should be allowed with adequate safety measures. It will build confidence of the public, dealing with Covid-19 dragon.

Jagdish Singh Jassal, Patiala

Entry should be restricted

Question arises as to why migrants, in complete disregard to the humanitarian safety and law of the land, rushed to their hometowns during the national Lockdown? Had their states employment potential they would not have come to prosperous areas. Their irresponsibility or misconduct has put other nationals' health and finances in jeopardy. Illiteracy cannot guarantee them immunity from responsibility. Re-entry of such migrants, having neither vision nor inclination to obey laws, needs be restricted.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Life should move on

With the return of labourers for paddy transplantation and workers to industry the number of visitors coming to/passing through the tricity has increased. Hence, there is escalation in the number of Covid 19 cases. You cannot stop people forever. People are aware of the saying "prevention is better than cure". Visitors would themselves take necessary precautions and maintain personal hygiene as propagated in the media. The sealing could be implemented for shorter duration in the containment zones and when necessary. Otherwise normal life should move on.

Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali


Public places in Chandigarh, particularly Sukhna Lake, see rush during the weekends. Should the UT authorities adopt the Punjab model of implementing strict regulations during the weekends to check crowding at public places as there is no abatement in Covid cases in the tricity?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to

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