Migrant workers at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus
Migrant workers at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus
Photo: BL Soni

Lucknow: Woken up from its slumber on reverse migration, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has directed all district magistrates to open quarantine centres and kitchens for migrant labourers returning their home from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and other states.

A large number of migrant labourers from Eastern Uttar Pradesh have already arrived in their hometown without being quarantined and testing for coronavirus. All trains coming from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and other states are overloaded with migrant labourers.

Finally, on Wednesday, the Chief Minister directed DMs of all 75 districts to open quarantine centres to house migrant labourers, coming from different states, in isolation. Like May 2020, kitchens will be set up at these quarantine centres to provide food free of cost to migrant labourers’ and their families.

Directives have been issued to conduct RT PCR tests on them and allow only those to travel for their final destinations after their report is negative. Those who tested positive will be quarantined for 14 days at the centre.

The CM has also directed officials to open counters for their registration and skill mapping so that they are provided job opportunities in their hometowns and villages. Orders have also been passed to make available ration kits for them.

A study conducted by the Harvard University lauded the efforts of the Yogi Adityanath government in dealing with the migrant labourers’ crisis in May 2020. But during the second surge of the Coronavirus a year later, the state government lagged behind making proper arrangements to deal with the reverse migration which is already on. The measures announced on Wednesday are too little and too late.7

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