As thousands of migrant workers take to the streets to walk back to their villages across states, the Centre said on Sunday that all those who have travelled during the lockdown period would be put under mandatory 14-day quarantine at government facilities. FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES
“Those who have violated the lockdown and traveled during the period of lockdown will be subject to minimum 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities. Detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during quarantine have been issued to states,” the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a statement.
The government has stressed that states should make arrangements to pay the migrant labourers in the city where they were working and has also stated that rent should not be asked from such labourers or students, advising “action should be taken against those who are asking labourers or students to vacate the premises”.
It said in the statement that “states have been also told to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the period of lockdown without any cut” and “house rent should not be demanded from the labourers for this period”.
Coming under heavy criticism from several quarters on the migrant crisis, the government directed the states “to enforce strict implementation of lockdown”. Even as supply of essentials are being maintained, the government said that “there has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country”.
Asking the states to make “adequate arrangements for food and shelter of poor and needy people including migrant labourers be made at the place of their work” the Union Government said that it has issued orders on Saturday to use State Disaster Relief Funds for the purpose, adding that “sufficient funds are available with states in this head”.
“Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed. States were directed to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or on highways. Only goods movement should be allowed,” it said.
District Magistrates and Police Superintendents will be “made personally responsible for implementation of these directions which have been issued under the Disaster Management Act”, the statement said.
The Cabinet Secretary and the Union Home Ministry is in “constant touch” with chief secretaries of states and the police chiefs.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla held video conferences with the chief secretaries and the police chiefs on Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning to monitor the situation. “It was noted that, by and large, there has been effective Implementation of guidelines across all states and Union Territories,” the government said.
It has iterated that essential supplies have been maintained and the situation is being continuously monitored.
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