Offer support to migrant labourers: Centre to states, UTs

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) In the backdrop of large movement of migrant labourers from cities to their villages, the Centre on Friday issued an advisory directing all states and Union Territories (UTs) to take immediate steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter to them.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has written to all states and UTs to take steps to help these migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other uaorganized sector workers during the 21-day nationwide COVID-19 lockdown to stop their migration.

Similarly, states and UTs have been advised to take steps to ensure that students, working women from other states are also allowed to continue in their existing accommodation.

In order to mitigate the situation for unorganized sector workers,

particularly stranded migrant workers, the advisory suggests that the states and UTs need to explore measures by involving various agencies, including NGOs, to provide food and shelter with basic amenities such as clean drinking water and sanitation.

Bhalla, through the advisory, also advised the states and UTs to make these vulnerable groups aware of the measures taken by the government including provision of free food grains and other essential items through Public Distribution System (PDS), and streamline the distribution system.

This would help prevent avoidable movement of such people, the advisory suggests.

The Home Ministry has also advised that states and UTs need to ensure that hotels, rented accommodations and hostels continue to remain functional and delivery of essential items is streamlined so that students, working women, hostel inmates are allowed to continue in existing facilities while observing precautions

“While ensuring supply of essential goods and services, states and UTs are being repeatedly directed to enforce the lockdown strictly and take action against violators under various provisions of law. This is imperative to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the Minisyry said.

The Home Ministry took the step after migrant labourers began fleeing to their villages following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for 21-day lockdown.



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