Govt allows stranded labourers to work, but with conditions

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New Delhi (NVI): The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for enabling the movement of migrant labourers who are stranded in different parts of the country amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

In its order issued yesterday, the MHA said that workers stranded in relief camps could go to work within the states they are in but didn’t give permission to let them go back to their home states or allow any interstate movement.

“Since additional new activities, outside the containment zones, have been permitted in the consolidated revised guidelines with effect from 20th April 2020, these workers could be engaged in industrial, manufacturing, construction, farming and MNREGA works,” the MHA order read.

However, the Government has released some guidelines in order to facilitate their movement within States/UTs.

The migrant labourers currently residing in relief or shelter camps in states/UTs 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, the order said.

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, as per the new SOP released by MHA.

“It may be noted that there shall be no movement of labour outside the State/UT from where they are currently located,” the order read.

During the journey by bus, it would be ensured that safe social-distancing norms are followed and the buses used for transport are sanitised as per the guidelines of the Health authorities, it said.

The National Directives for COVID-19 Management issued under the consolidated revised guidelines dates 15th April 2020 shall be strictly followed.

The local authorities shall also provide for food and water etc., for the duration of their journey, the SOP added.