Altogether 180 migrant workers reached Jharkhand from Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Saturday by a State-sponsored chartered flight, expressing relief from over two-month-long hardships due to lockdown.

Migrants were flown back home from Andaman & Nicobar a day after 60 stranded workers returned from Leh by a service flight arranged by the State government. “The expenses of both the flights are borne by the Hemant Soren government,” an official statement said. The returnees will be sent by buses to their respective districts after health test, officials said.

The migrants said they were given food and shelter by the Andaman administration, NGOs and fellow natives, settled in the island for several decades.

Migrant workers were flown back home in chartered flights by the Jharkhand government after Mr. Soren wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on May 21, seeking permission to operate flights to bring back stranded workers from Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Ladakh and the north-east as they could not be ferried by buses or trains.

Sought govt. help

These returnees had requested the government to make arrangement for their return.

After emerging from Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Airport, a labourer said, “Many of us worked in road construction projects.”

Another labourer said, “We were staying in South Andaman and got food from the administration, NGOs and some people from Jharkhand who have stayed there for a long time.”

Water & Sanitation Minister Mithilesh Thakur, who reached the airport to welcome the migrants, said another flight would take off from Andamans on Sunday.

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