Coronavirus: Stranded workers to be employed near camps from Monday

Srinagar

In a relief to stranded migrant labourers, the government, here on Sunday, allowed their movement from shelter homes to workplaces, like manufacturing units and farms, from Monday.

But the movement will not be allowed “outside the state or Union Territory (UT) from where they are currently located”, according to a fresh Home Ministry Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

The SOP, issued by the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Sunday, will apply in districts declared non-Covid-19 containment zones.

It will help labourers to be engaged in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) works.

States and UTs have been asked to get registered details of labourers residing in relief camps for skill mapping before their movement to different workplaces.

Work will be started in some areas in the country from Monday.

“In the event, that a group of migrants wish to return to their places of work, within the state where they are presently located, they would be screened and those who are asymptomatic would be transported to their respective places of work,” the SOP reads.

During transportation, it will be ensured that social distancing norms are followed and vehicles used are sanitized as per the guidelines. The local authorities will also have to provide food and water during their (migrant labourers) journey.

“The national directives for the coronavirus management, issued under the consolidated revised guidelines dated April 15, shall be strictly followed,” it said.

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As per the consolidated guidelines, the engagement of migrant labourers in industries and other units was included in the additional new activities list outside the containment zones and these are to be implemented from Monday (April 20).

The guidelines were issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the 21-day nationwide lockdown for another 19 days till May 3.

Due to spread of Covid-19, workers employed in industry, agriculture, construction and other sectors have moved from their respective places of work and are housed in relief camps run by states and UTs.

The Home Ministry on April 10 said over 14.3 lakh people had been shifted to about 37,978 migrant relief camps amid the coronavirus crisis following the SOP issued on March 29 after the first phase of lockdown was announced.

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