With certain manufacturing and industrial units to start operations from Monday, the Centre on Sunday allowed movement of stranded migrant labourers within the confines of a state.
Issuing a detailed standard operating procedure, the Home Ministry also allowed the movement of labourers in buses after ensuring proper social distancing norms and asked local authorities to arrange for their food.
The Home Ministry, however, made it clear that no inter-state movement would be allowed during the coronavirus lockdown, which is in place till May 3.
“In the event that a group of migrants wish to return to their places of work within the state where they are presently located, they would be screened and those who are asymptomatic would be transported to their respective places of work…During the journey by bus, it would be ensured that safe social distancing norms are followed and the buses used for transport are sanitised as per the guidelines of the Health authorities,” the MHA guidelines said.
However, to return to their respective work places, the MHA order stated that the migrant labourers should be registered with the concerned local authority and skill mapping should be carried out to find out their suitability for various kinds of works.
“It may be noted that there shall be no movement of labour outside the State/UT from where they are currently located….The National Directives for COVlD-19 Management issued under the consolidated revised guidelines dated April 15 shall be strictly followed,” the MHA SOP said.
Due to the lockdown, migrant labourers engaged in different sectors have moved from their respective places of work and are housed in relief and shelter camps being run by state governments.
Acknowledging the need to allow movement of labourers, the MHA order said, “Since additional activities, outside the containment zones, have been permitted in the consolidated revised guidelines with effect from April 20, these workers could be engaged in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA works.”
The local authorities shall also provide for food and water etc for the duration of their journey, the SOP said. The development is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that select activities will open up from April 20 in identified areas.
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