Government Issues Guidelines For  Movement Of Migrant Workers Within States 
People wait in a bus on the banks of Yamuna River while being transferred to a shelter during a lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Government Issues Guidelines For Movement Of Migrant Workers Within States 

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The Centre issued guidelines for movement of labourers within a state to facilitate partial resumption of select economic activities outside coronavirus hotspots from Monday.

Issuing the order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla made it clear that there will be no inter-state movement of workers during the lockdown, which has been extended till May 3.

Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, labourers have moved from their respective places of work and are housed in relief and shelter camps being run by states and Union Territories. Since additional activities, outside the containment zones, have been permitted in the consolidated revised guidelines with effect from April 20, the order said that these workers could be engaged in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA work.

The order detailed a standard operating procedure to facilitate worker movement. The migrant labourers currently residing in relief and shelter camps should be registered with the concerned local authority and their skill mapping be carried out to find out their suitability for various kinds of work.

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. 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 sanitized as per the guidelines of the health authorities. The local authorities shall also provide for food and water etc., for the duration of their journey, the SOP said.

The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to combat the coronavirus endemic. While extending the lockdown till May 3, the Prime Minister declared that select activities will open up from April 20 in identified areas.

Soon after the lockdown was first announced, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from different parts of the country were seen leaving their places of work and travelling to their native places on foot along with family members. To check this mass exodus, the central government had asked all states to provide food and shelter to the migrant workers so that they do not move during the lockdown.

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