Migration of labourers from Bihar in search of livelihood to places like Punjab and Delhi has declined by over 26 per cent, thanks to initiatives taken by the Nitish Kumar government in the past five years to check their exodus, according to a survey report.
Flight of unskilled workers from Bihar to different parts of the country came down by 26.53 per cent in 2006-08 as compared to 2001-03, the survey carried out by non- governmental body Bihar Institute of Economic Studies said.
The survey work was carried out in the districts of Siwan, Madhubani, Saharsa, Bhagalpur, Nalanda and Rohtas to assess the impact of government initiatives to curb migration ratio, the institute's director Pyare Lal told. He said another survey will be done in January-February next year.
Bihar Labour minister Janardan Singh Sigriwal said the target is to bring down migration of unskilled labourers to zero.
BJP MP from Patna Saheb Shatrughan Sinha also showered praise on Nitish Kumar, saying, "Bihari used to be a hate word for outsiders hitherto, but due to tightening of law and order and by undertaking large-scale developmental works JD(U)-BJP coalition has earned respect."
The study found that the maximum migration was to Punjab (26.36 per cent) followed by Delhi (21.34 per cent), Maharashtra (15.06 per cent), Haryana (11.72 per cent) and West Bengal (5.86 per cent).
It found that lack of employment opportunity was the single most important reason (54.17 per cent) for outward movement of labourers.
Noted agri-scientist Mangla Rai, who is currently Chief Minister's advisor on agriculture, said with highest growth rate of 14 per cent in 2010-11, Bihar is now giving a run for their money to developed states like Gujarat and Maharashtra.
"The NDA government is creating job opportunities at home itself so that people don't have to move out in search of livelihood," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
Apex developers body CREDAI Vice-President Getamber Anand said, "It's true that lesser number of labourers from Bihar are arriving now. We have to arrange local hands. This has pushed up the wages for construction jobs in Delhi and NCR."