Coronavirus lockdown: The Centre on Sunday allowed the labourers currently in shelter and relief camps to move back to their respective work places within the state and resume their jobs after getting screened by local authorities. The government has permitted some activities outside the containment zones from April 20. The Centre on Sunday said that the labourers could be engaged in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA works.
In a statement, the Home Ministry said that a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for movement of stranded labour within the State/UTs has been issued to central ministries and departments, and state/UTs with the directions for its strict implementation. According to the SOP, the migrant labourers currently residing in relief or shelter camps in states should be registered with the concerned local authority and their skill mapping be carried out to find out their suitability for various kinds of works.
“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 and those who are asymptomatic would be transported to their respective places of work,” the statement said. It, however, made it clear that there would be no movement of labour outside the state or UTs where the labourers are currently located.
During journey by bus, the Centre said that 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 provide for food and water for the duration of their journey, the statement said. This is in line with relaxations given to certain industries from April 20.
This step would help thousands of migrant workers who were left with no job and could also not go back to their hometowns due to lockdown imposed on March 25. Some of them tried to walk back to their native places but were stopped by the state authorities and were kept at shelter houses.