MHA allows stranded labourers to be moved for commercial activities within state

New Delhi: A day ahead of commencing the commercial activities in agriculture, construction and industry sectors, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for State and district administration to follow while moving stranded migrant labourers in relief shelters or camps.
As per the consolidated guidelines issued on April 15 for the Lockdown 2.0 the Centre has allowed a number of industrial and commercial activities to be undertaken from April 20.
In a letter written to all states and Union Territories, the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Executive Committee under Disaster Management Act, said, “Due to the spread of COVID-19 virus, workers employed in industries, agriculture, construction and other sectors have moved from their respective places of work, and have been housed in relief or shelter camps being run by State and Union Territory (UT) Governments. Since addition new activities outside the containment zones, have been permitted in the consolidated revised guidelines with effect from April 20, these workers could be engaged in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA works.”
The MHA has asked the States and UTs to facilitate their movement to the work places within the State and the district administration will have to follow the SoPs, the Home Secretary added.
As per the guidelines, the district level officials have been asked to compulsorily register all the labourers housed in relief camps and they should also carry out their skill mapping to find out their suitability for various kinds of works.
“In the event, that a group of migrant workers 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 SoP said.
The guidelines has clearly clarified that there would not be any movement of labour outside the State/UT from where they are currently located.
“During the movement of these labourers by bus, it must be ensured that safe social distancing norms must be followed and the buses used for transport are sanitized as per the guidelines of the health authorities,” it said.
The guideline also directs authorities to provide for food and water for the duration of their journey.