Bhubaneswar, May 5 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday directed that the Odia migrants willing to return from Surat in Gujarat will be granted permission to return by train only.
Buses carrying returnees from Surat will not be allowed inside the state.
The decision was taken by the Chief Minister keeping in mind the number of accidents by buses carrying the returnees and various inconveniences faced by children and women passengers due to the long-distance journey.
Three accidents took place with buses carrying stranded Odias from Surat in Gujarat in the last couple of days.
Patnaik took a review meeting on Tuesday to assess the current situation of COVID-19 in the state.
The Chief Minister also directed to increase the number of COVID-19 tests in the state by five times to 15,000 per day from the current 3,500 tests.
While the government has conducted test of about 46,000 samples so far, 173 persons tested positive for coronavirus.
The government has decided to develop testing facility in Baripada, Balasore, Koraput and Balangir districts in the coming days.
During the review meeting, the Chief Minister also discussed the arrangements made for migrants, maintenance of law and order and issues related to the functioning of industries.
The Chief Minister directed that special focus should be given to districts such as Ganjam, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Bolangir, and Balasore, where a large number of people are migrating to other states in search of work.
It was also decided that loan assistance for farmers and Self Help Groups (SHG) will be increased.