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Verification drive ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi

Gurgaon, Sep 23 (Calcutta Tube) Ramesh is the sole earning member of his family but he had to leave his job and go back to his hometown, Patna. He is among many migrant labourers who have left this satellite town of the Indian capital in the past 15 days due to the verification drive ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Though the drive is good for the safety of the residents, the labourers allege that the Gurgaon police are harassing them in the name of verification.

‘I can fill the form and give it back to the police but the officials are threatening us. They talk rudely and say they will arrest me. I am leaving the town and will come back after the Games,’ 24-year-old Ramesh told IANS before leaving.

The massive drive is to get the antecedents of migrants verified.

As the workers have started leaving the city, the worst affected are the industries. Almost 50,000 migrant workers have left Gurgaon.

‘There are almost five lakh migrant workers in Gurgaon and more than 20 percent have left the city due to the verification process,’ IMT Industrial Association general secretary Manoj Tyagi said.

‘Small-scale industries are mainly facing the problems. Some of them are about to shut down due to the shortage of workers. We are not able to match the deadlines for export, and are loosing foreign revenue,’ he added.

The group of 20 small unit owners met Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal last week, asking him to soften the norms of the verification process. He agreed to accept identity cards as proof which will be provided by the industries or the contractor.

‘The industries are losing workers, so we have decided to soften the norms of verification and now we are accepting the identity card as verification proof given by the industries,’ Deswal said.

The industrialists are worried they may not meet the deadlines.

Gurgaon police even arrested 11 landlords for not having got done the mandatory verification of the antecedents of their tenants.

‘Not only the industries, the residents of the town are also facing the shortage of workers. I have to wash my car because my servant has also left due to the drive,’ district public relations and grievances committee president Jagan Nath Mangla said.

The migrant workers belong mainly to Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Most of them do not have any identity proof such as ration card, driving licence or voter ID.

‘We came from Bihar to work here. We do not have any identity proof, which is causing problems for us,’ said Rajeev, an industry worker.

‘We are afraid because of this drive. Some of my friends have left the city due to lack of any identity proof. But now my employer has given me an identity proof, so now I am feeling relaxed,’ he added.

Though the verification norms have been relaxed, industries are facing 30 percent slowdown in production. The workers who have left the town would not return before the end of the Commonwealth Games, which are to be held Oct 3-14.

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