Govt asks states to stop exodus of migrant labourers amid COVID lockdown

The states and UTs have also been advised to make these vulnerable groups aware of measures taken by the government

inter-state movement, migrant workers, stranded people, migrant labourers, Lockdown, coronavirus, COVID-19
Many of the thousands of migrant workers travelling home have been killed in road accidents en route. Photo for representational purpose only: PTI

In the wake of the mass exodus of migrant agriculture labourers, industrial workers, and unorganised sector employees from their workplaces to hometowns, the Union Home Ministry on Friday (March 27) asked state governments to prevent the movement amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.

In an advisory to all states and Union territories, the home ministry said they should also make arrangements for uninterrupted supply of essential commodities to hotels, working women hostels so that they continue to live in existing facilities.

“The home ministry has issued an advisory to States/UTs to prevent mass exodus of migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and unorganised sector workers, so as to prevent the spread of COVID19,” an official spokesperson said.

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The states and UTs have also been advised to make these vulnerable groups aware of measures taken by the government, including provision of free food grains and other essential items through PDS, and streamline the distribution system.

Related news: COVID-19: Stranded migrant workers starve on streets, walk miles home

“This would help prevent the exodus of such people,” the spokesperson said.

The home ministry has also advised the states and UTs to ensure that hotels, rented accommodations, hostels etc., continue to remain functional and delivery of essential items is streamlined, so that students, working women hostel inmates etc., are allowed to continue in existing facilities observing precautions.

The coronavirus-enforced lockdown has triggered a mass exodus of migrant workers across the country.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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