The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday said that it would appoint officials in cities like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai to ensure “safety, security and welfare” of migrant workers from the state.
“The government will appoint officers to states like Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh where migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh constitute the backbone of the economic development and industries. Officers have been instructed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure safety and security of migrant workers from the state,” a statement issued by the government on Wednesday said.
“The government will ensure respect and security of its people even in other places where migrant workers go in large numbers. Uttar Pradesh will become the first state to do so in the country,” the government said.
To begin with, two officers will be posted in Mumbai who will oversee facilities provided to the migrant workers by the employers, the government said.
“If something wrong happens with migrant workers, then the officers will get in touch with the local administration and try to find a solution to the issue. They will also be asked to report the matter back to the UP government. The officers will also provide them information regarding schemes for migrant workers so that those who want to return to the state can do so,” the government said.
In other places, the UP Finance Corporation has been asked to oversee the situation of migrant workers from the state, the statement added. According to a government estimate, around 40 to 60 lakh migrant workers from the state are working in different parts of the country.
After the nationwide lockdown was announced by the Centre in March owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of migrant workers from Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal returned to the state, some even on foot. In May, Chief Minister Adityanath said that states seeking to employ migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh in the future will need to take his government’s permission.
“Now, if any state needs manpower, the UP government will give the manpower social security. We will give them insurance and security. But, without our permission, our people cannot be taken by other states. Because the kind of treatment that was meted out [to UP residents]. Seeing that, we have taken the people’s social security in our hand,” he had said.
Following the return of a large number of migrants – according to a government estimate, around 55 lakh migrant workers returned to UP from different parts of the country during the lockdown – the Adityanath government had announced several schemes to employ them. In May, the government had also announced to provide employment to 20 lakh migrant workers. Officials were also told to prepare data from quarantine centres regarding the skills of workers. “After the lockdown was announced, around 47 lakh migrant workers had returned and got themselves registered with the state government, while another 7-8 lakhs returned and did not register themselves,” said a senior official on Wednesday.
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