The Centre has asked states to ensure migrant labourers do not walk on the road or railway tracks to reach home. It has asked them to counsel such labourers and put them in shelters.
The development comes in the backdrop of 16 migrant labourers being crushed to death by a train near Aurangabad last week, and many also meeting fatal accidents routinely on roads while attempting to walk back to their homes amid the coronavirus lockdown,
In another order, the Centre has asked states not to restrict the movement of doctors and healthcare workers as it could jeopardise Covid-19 fighting efforts. This follows after many cities such as Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad did not allow doctors to commute to Delhi recently.
Drawing the attention of states to a meeting held by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba to review the running of buses and Shramik Special trains for migrants, the MHA letter has said, “In the meeting, the situation of migrant workers walking on the road and on railway tracks was noted with great concern. Since their movement by buses and ‘Shramik’ special trains has already been allowed to enable their travel to native places, all State/ UT Governments should ensure that migrant workers do not resort to walking on road and on railway tracks. In case they are found in such condition, they should appropriately be counseled, taken to nearby shelters and provided with food, water etc. till such time they are facilitated to board the ‘Shramik’ special trains or buses to their native places.”
It had also asked states to cooperate with the railways in running more number of ‘Shramik’ special trains so that the travel of stranded migrant workers is facilitated at a faster rate.
“I urge upon you all to allow the receiving of all Shramik special trains without any hindrance and facilitate faster movement of stranded migrant workers to their native places,” the letter said.
In the letter on movement of doctors and paramedics, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has drawn the attention of the states to the criticality of their services in not only treating Covid patients but also those suffering other ailments.
“In this scenario, as pointed out by the Cabinet Secretary, any restrictions on the movement of medical professionals and para-medical staff can lead to severe constraints in rendering COVlD and non-COVID medical services. As such, ensuring unhindered movement of all such medical professionals is essential for meeting public health requirements and saving precious human lives,” the letter has said.
It has pointed out that at many places even private clinics and nursing homes are reported to have not been allowed to open.
“The functioning of these medical facilities, which supplement the regular medical infrastructure, and relieve the burden on hospitals, is also crucial. I would urge all States and UTs to ensure that such clinics and nursing homes continue to function without any hindrances,” the letter has said.
It has asked states to ensure that its field officials “allow smooth movement of all medical professionals, nurses, para medical, sanitation personnel and ambulances, and ensure the opening of all private clinics, nursing homes and labs with all their medical professional and staff” not only within the state but also inter-State, wherever required”.