Delhi govt to arrange food, shelter, buses for migrants: Kejriwal

A Delhi minister said the government will use school buildings as night shelters for the migrants

coronavirus, COVID-19, Lockdown, Supreme Court, Migrant Labourers, exodus
Several states in the country witnessed thousands of migrant workers walking back to their natives after being rendered jobless due to the 21-day nation-wide lockdown in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: PTI

The Delhi government is arranging food and shelter for migrant workers, and buses to transport them, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday (March 28) as he appealed to them to not leave the national capital due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Kejriwal said AAP’s ministers and party’s MLAs were visiting different areas and appealing to migrant workers to not to go to their home states.

He said sight shelters, with food and water facility, have been set up in the city’s border areas to accommodate the migrant workers who are leaving for their home states on foot. But they are concerned as they believe the lockdown period will be long, he added.

He said over 800 centres in the city are distributing free food to the poor and the needy. As many as 1,000 fair price shops in the city have started distribution of 7.5 kg free ration per individual, he said.

Related news: This UP district bars rent-collecting for a month amid lockdown exodus

Kejriwal said that his government has also arranged for buses to transport them. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said the Delhi government has deployed 100 buses for people attempting to walk home from the city.

A Delhi Transport department officer said buses were deployed after a large number of people started walking to their home states. The DTC and cluster buses will drop them at points along the border with UP where buses from that state will carry them ahead, he added.

A large number of people, including women, elderly and children, from various states like UP and Bihar have started leaving Delhi and other neighbouring cities as factories, hotels, shops and other establishments have closed due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajender Pal Gautam said the government will use school buildings as night shelters for them. However, there was no concrete plan for the thousands of migrant workers, labourers and daily wage earners in the city who have lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the lockdown.

(With inputs from agencies)

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