In a step meant to provide relief to labourers who have been returning to their villages amid the 21-day lockdown, the Noida administration has ordered landlords not to collect rent for the coming month.
In the last two days, thousands of labourers staying in rented accommodations across Noida and Greater Noida have been walking towards villages in UP to reach their homes.
“It has come to our notice that several labourers are being asked for rent, which is forcing them to move out and travel back to their homes. In such a case, the possibility of the infection spreading is higher. We need to assure them the security of a house. Landlords are instructed to not collect rent for one month from any tenant labourer,” said Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate B N Singh.
The administration invoked Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and said non-compliance can lead to fine, imprisonment up to one year, or both. In the event that demanding of rent leads to a situation where there is damage to property, the imprisonment can extend up to two years, said the order.
“Some labourers are involved in production of essential items/commodities and their exodus is impacting the supply chain as well. In such a scenario, no migration must take place due to demand of rent,” said Singh.
Landlords can ask for rent after one month if no other order is issued in the interim, said officials. The administration also clarified that state government will not reimburse landlords.
Several labourers stay on rent in areas beyond Sector 50 till Greater Noida, where several residential societies are currently under construction.
Till Friday evening, hundreds of labourers could be seen at Pari Chowk, walking towards the Yamuna Expressway to their villages in parts of Western UP.
Meanwhile, five fresh cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Noida on Saturday. This takes the total number of cases in Noida to 23, the highest so far across UP.
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