Migrants UP-bound for polls, Haryana's textile units jittery

Over 3.5 lakh people from UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and other states work in around 25,000 industrial units in Panipat

Migrants UP-bound for polls, Haryana's textile units jittery

Photo for representation only. File photo

Tribune News Service

Mukesh Tandon

Panipat, January 14

In the wake of upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and fear of lockdown due to surge in Covid cases, migrant labourers have started leaving the Textile City for their native villages.

Over 3.5 lakh people from UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and other states work in around 25,000 industrial units here. Nearly 30-35% of them belong to UP.

The development is likely to create manpower shortage for the industry. Another reason for their departure is the shutting down of units for two days in a week as per orders of the Commission for Air Quality Management, said Bheem Rana, president, Federation of Industrial Association, and Panipat Dyers' Association.

"Labourers are not worried about the Covid situation, but they are not getting full wages because of the five-day week rule. Already around 7 per cent of the workforce has left the city," he claimed.

Ramjuari Yadav of Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh said, "We are going back to cast our vote and spend time with our families." Ravinder of Kannauj said he and his two friends were returning as Covid cases were on the rise. "In case of travel restrictions, we may not be able to cast our vote," said Vikram, another labourer.

Lalit Goyal, president, Panipat Export Association, said, "The migrants are leaving because of Uttar Pradesh elections. If more workforce leaves the city, the industry will be hit hard."

Pritam Singh Sachdeva, president, Panipat Industrial Association, said, "We have assured the labourers of full support in case of any untoward situation due to the Covid pandemic. Those who have gone back for elections will return in a short span. It will not affect the industry.”

#Assemblyelections2022 #UPpoll2022

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