Entry of migrants allowed after hand-stamping; estate owners to take their full responsibility
Madikeri/Kushalnagar: Following an uproar against the free movement of tourists from various destinations into Kodagu spreading COVID infections, the District Administration has clarified that the stay of tourists in home stays, resorts, star hotels and lodges is totally banned till July 5 and no tourism activity is allowed.
However, the entry of migrant workers from other States to work in coffee estates has been allowed where the owners of estates have to give an undertaking that they will take full responsibility of quarantining, RT-PCR tests and other mandatory requirements. All migrants arriving in the district are being hand-stamped at the borders.
Addressing reporters in Madikeri yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Eshwar Kumar Kandu, who is also Tourism Department Deputy Director, said that if people come across instances where tourists are staying in Kodagu despite the present ban till July 5, they may inform the District Administration through Helpline 1077.
“We will act according to the Government’s directives on allowing tourism activities only after July 5. Action will be taken against any illegal tourism activities during the lockdown period. A task force comprising officials from the Police, Revenue and Tourism Departments has been formed to inspect home stays and resorts,” he said.
The licences of two home stays that have violated lockdown guidelines have been scrapped and cases will be booked against them under the Disaster Management Act. Measures have been taken to restrict the entry of tourist vehicles at the check-posts on all the district borders, he added.
Vehicle entry into Kodagu has seen a rise since the past few days and all the people who come here are not tourists as many of them travel towards Mangaluru and Kerala. “We are keeping a close watch and check-posts have also been alerted for keeping a tab on visitors. RT-PCR negative reports are mandatory for those entering the State from Kerala. Also, RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) is also being done at Kutta and Makutta check-posts,” he added.
After a brief lull, the flow of hundreds of migrants from Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh along with their families into various coffee estates has resumed. However, they are being hand-stamped at the borders. Taking objection to this, several residents have demanded that all the migrants must be subjected to RT-PCR tests and those testing positive must be mandatorily quarantined.
Even the hand-stamping process is being done in a lackadaisical manner with no date of stamping mentioned and also the indelible ink of the stamp not clearly visible. The date was, however, restored after the issue was highlighted by local residents.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Somwarpet Tahsildar Govindaraju said that the Deputy Commissioner Charulata Somal has instructed them to allow the migrant entry so that the work in coffee estates is not disrupted.
“The estate owners requiring workers have to submit an undertaking to the District Administration that they would take full ownership of the migrant workers including their 14-day quarantine and the subsequent RT-PCR tests. The estate owners are required to take written permission for this and action will be taken against them if the disease spreads,” he added.