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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Delhi government releases SOP for movement of stranded migrants

The national capital, a city of over 2 crore people, has one of the largest concentration of migrant workers in the country.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | Updated: May 4, 2020 3:02:13 am
Delhi government releases SOP for movement of stranded migrants The SOP has authorised district magistrates of Delhi to supervise the preparation of a “comprehensive database” of migrant workers, pilgrims, students and others hailing from outside the capital. (Express file photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

From compiling a database of those stranded to “encouraging” them to download the Aarogya Setu app while sending them back — the Delhi government’s standard operating procedure (SOP) on movement of migrant workers and students covers a range of aspects.

The SOP, issued Sunday by Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, has authorised district magistrates of the city to supervise the preparation of a “comprehensive database” of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and others hailing from outside the capital and stuck here.

The national capital, a city of over 2 crore people, has one of the largest concentration of migrant workers in the country.

The additional district magistrates and additional district commissioners of police “shall register such stranded persons” and prepare a database. A web-based app has also been developed for this purpose, which will be handled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s close aide Gopal Mohan and the CEO of the Delhi Urban Shelter Housing Board Vikas Anand, among others.

Resident commissioners of various states have been asked to extend cooperation in getting information about such stranded persons.

People will be sent back in both buses and trains, according to the SOP, which also stresses on medical screening of every individual and allowing only those found asymptomatic to return.

As per the guidelines, the number of buses and trains required will be decided by Delhi government officials and nodal officers appointed by other states. The secretary of the social welfare department P K Gupta has been appointed as the state nodal officer in Delhi’s case.

It says those who wish to travel by making their own arrangements will get transit passes from the District Magistrates. “While leaving NCT of Delhi, such persons may be encouraged to use Aarogya Setu app through which their health status can be monitored and tracked,” it says.

“Buses shall be used for transport of groups of persons. The buses will be sanitised and shall follow safe social distancing norms in seating. Commissioner Transport, MD of Delhi Transport Corporation and MD of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation shall coordinate with state nodal officers and provide buses for the movement of the stranded persons from their respective places (mostly shelter homes) to the inter-state bus terminals/locations specified at the inter-state borders.

“Movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons is also allowed by special trains to be operated by the Ministry of Railways. Railways will designate nodal officers for coordinating with states/UTs for their movement. Railways will also issue detailed guidelines for sale of tickets…” the SOP states.

After the lockdown brought all economic activities to a halt, rendering them jobless, and in many cases without a roof over their heads, thousands of migrant workers have been forced to take shelter in schools and other facilities designated for them to stay by the Delhi government.

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