Centre asks States to stop migrants’ exodus; SPs/DMs ordered to punish landlords evicting students/labourers; private firms asked to pay salaries
The home-bound exodus of thousands of migrant workers has posed a major challenge to the Centre, which, on Sunday, directed States/UTs to seal the borders of districts and cities to prevent movement of people across cities or highways.
The Centre also told the States that all those who have travelled during the lockdown period would be put under mandatory 14-day quarantine at Government facilities.
The Centre has tried to take into account the factors that triggered the massive exodus due to joblessness, pressure from the landlords to vacate their dwelling, and how to find their next meal, the like of which the country has never seen before in post-Independence period.
To address these issues, the Centre has directed SPs and DMs to ensure action against the landlords asking students/labourers to vacate rented accommodation. Home Minister Amit Shah and Home Secretary AK Bhalla spoke to many Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries to ensure strict action against landlords who demanded workers to vacate their dwellings.
They also urged the States to ensure the private companies pay salaries to employers and workers. Both of them asked the State Governments to impose penal actions against those who violate the rules of the Disaster Management Act.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba also took stock of preparedness with State Chief Secretaries and DGPs.
“The migrant people, who have moved out to reach their home in States or towns to be kept in the nearest shelter by the respective State/UT Government quarantine facilities after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days as per standard health protocol. All the employers, be it in the industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, should make payment of wages of their workers, at their work places, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown,” said a circular issued to the States and Union Territories by the Union Home Ministry.
“It is to be ensured that wherever the workers, including the migrants, are living in rented accommodation, the landlords of those properties must not demand payment of rent for a period of one month. If any landlord is forcing labourers and students to vacate their premises, they will be liable for action under the Act. The order stated that in case of violation of any of the above measures, the respective State/UT Government, would take necessary action under the Disaster Management Act and the DMs /Deputy Commissioners and SSPs/ SPs/Deputy Commissioner of Police would be personally liable for implementation of the above directions and lockdown measures issued earlier,” the circular added.
Meanwhile, in a big development Uttar Pradesh Administration took over Jaypee Groups unused flats in Yamuna Expressway to rehabilitate the migrant labourers from Delhi who entered the State. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered to keep all those labours under 14-day quarantine at these flats and provide medical and food supply.
Noida District Magistrate has ordered all companies to ensure prompt payment of salaries to workers and employees. The DM in his order said errant employers will face strict penal actions, including attachment of personal properties if any violations found.
In Kerala also many migrant workers agitated demanding to go back to home States in Bihar, UP, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. Hundreds of migrant workers in Paippad town in Kottayam district came to street protesting, demanding the State Government to arrange travel facilities to go back to home States.
The Kerala Government urged the labours to stay back at homes and no point of transportation to distant home States as the entire country is witnessing lockdown. The State administration warned the contractors of these labours to take care and also assured free food and shelter if they face any such problems. Contractors also told media that they are assuring all services and somehow the labours are insisting to go home might be due to fear or homesickness. There were reports of migrant labours flow at Maharashtra-Gujarat and Karnataka-Maharashtra border areas also.
In the evening Group of Ministers headed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh monitored the situation across the country, including the supply of essential commodities supply. The high-level meeting convened at Singh’s residence was attended by Union Ministers Amit Shah, Piyush Goyal, Ram Vilas Paswan, Smriti Irani, Ramesh Pokhrial Nishank and Dharmendra Pradhan.
Meanwhile, PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister formed 10 empowered groups with focus on tackling various emergencies.
Monday, 30 March 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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