The Centre on March 29th, 2020 asked State Governments and Union Territories (UTs) to effectively seal state and district borders to stop movements of migrant workers during the lockdown period.
During a video conference with State Chief Secretaries and DGPs, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked them to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues.
“There has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country. Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed. States were directed to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or on highways. Only movement of goods should be allowed. DMs and SPs should be made personally responsible for the implementation of these directions which have been issued under the DM Act,” according to PIB.
The Centre directed the States and Union Territory administrations to make adequate arrangements for food and shelter of poor and needy people including migrant labourers at the place of their work. The Centre had on March 28th,2020 issued orders for use of SDRF funds for this purpose.
The States have been also told to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the period of lockdown without any cut.
The Centre directed the States to ensure that house rents are not demanded from the labourers for the lockdown period. The Centre asked the States to take strong action against those who are asking labourers or students to vacate the premises.
“The Centre observed that hose who have violated the lockdown and travelled during the period of lockdown will be subject to a minimum 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities.
Following the 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, tens of thousands of migrant workers and daily wage workers started moving out of cities, citing lack of food and basic amenities.
Carrying their children, bags and other belongings, they walked in a steady flow of thousands from Delhi to their homes in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and beyond.
The States and UTs have been also advised to set up relief camps along the highways for people moving on highways, including setting up of tented accommodation to ensure that these persons will stay in the relief camps till the lockdown orders are in place.
It may be mentioned, Congress and CPI(M) slammed the Narendra Modi government for the “ill-planned nationwide lockdown” and unpreparedness in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.