Lakhs of migrants in Panvel and Navi Mumbai, who want to go to their hometown, are seen standing in long queues to collect forms, submit papers and to get medical certificate.
People were seen waiting outside clinics at Panvel, Kharghar and Vashi. Many had reached clinics much before they opened.
Migrants from Kharghar and Panvel are still doing the rounds for a medical certificate but haven’t got one.
Babasaheb J Tupe, senior police inspector, Kamothe police station, said, “There was confusion as migrants scrambled to get all papers in place. They have been told that they can get a fitness certificate from any registered clinic after paying.”
He added that they are organising medical camps to ensure everyone gets a certificate.
The police also appealed to clinics and other private doctors to help workers get a certificate without inconveniencing other patients.
“Private doctors are charging around Rs350 for issuing a certificate. The government clinics are charging less but have longer queues. I returned after seeing the crowd,” said Bilal Ansari, 46, a daily wage worker from Uttar Pradesh, who has been making rounds of the police station to get more information.
Pradeep Singh, 35, from Jharkhand, said he would prefer going home as it has become difficult to live here without earning.
“For the past two to three days, we have been busy in paperwork. But, we are desperate to go back to the home. There has been no income for the past two months. It is difficult to practise social distancing in the slums,” Singh said.
Many said there was no clarity and that they are getting information in bits and pieces.
“We didn’t know about medical camps. We waited in long queues at the clinic and came to know about the camps later,” said Doman P, 45, a daily wage labourer from Bihar.
Activist Suhash Jha said, “Considering the sheer number of migrants wanting to leave city, authorities should have been prepared for the long queues. However, clear guidelines would have eased the migrants’ anxiety. The medical camp will make the process smoother.”