Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari Saturday directed the state government to take immediate measures to stop exodus of migrant labourers by providing them food, shelter and basic amenities during the 21-day lockdown period announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Taking into account the rising incidents of migrant workers leaving Maharashtra for their native places during the lockdown, Koshyari held talks with the six divisional commissioners in the state Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik, Pune, Konkan and Aurangabad via video-conferencing and sought information about the incidence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the exodus of people from various districts.
He also asked the divisional commissioners to direct all district collectors to take steps to stop such people from moving out of the state and stay put wherever they are.
A statement issued by the Raj Bhavan said Koshyari also directed the divisional commissioners to make public announcements in all major cities and industrial townships to appeal to people to stay wherever they are. He also directed that people should be informed about the steps being taken by the government and non-governmental organisations to arrange for their accommodation and food.
“People entering various districts of Maharashtra from other states or districts should also be stopped and arrangements for their accommodation and food be made,” the statement said.
Leader of opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis also urged the state government to arrange for temporary tents with toilets and basic amenities, such as food and water supply, to stop migrant labourers from leaving the cities. “Unoccupied structures, shelter homes can be used to rehabilitate such migrants,” the former chief minister said. He added that Rs 4,000-crore Building Construction Welfare Cess should be used to serve these poor and helpless migrants.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, meanwhile, reassured that the state government would tackle the migrant problems. He also warned people against social ill-treatment of labourers in the cities or villages. The state government has also urged real estate developers to come forward and help in the rehabilitation of migrant workers.
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