Mumbai: The Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has taken notice of the large scale exodus of migrant workers on a desperate march home. He on Saturday directed the government machinery to stop people from entering the state from other parts of the country or from workers leaving the state during the ongoing lockdown. He held talks with the six divisional commissioners in the state namely Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik, Pune, Konkan and Aurangabad via video-conferencing to take stock of the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Governor’s directives come when migrants workers, despite Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s assurance to take their care during the lockdown, are making efforts to return to their homes by walking or through available transport. Some used clandestine means like empty milk tankers while some were caught travelling in a truck. Four such migrant workers died on Mumbai Ahmedabad road while taking a long walk back home.
The Governor asked the divisional commissioners to direct the district collectors to stop the people from moving out of the state and make them stay wherever they are, a statement from the Raj Bhavan said.
Further, the Governor asked the authorities to make announcements in all major cities and industrial townships to urge the people to stay wherever they are right now. People should be informed about the steps being taken for their accommodation and food by the government and non governmental organisations, Koshyari instructed the officials.
Home Ministry to support migrant workers
The Union Home Ministry has committed all the support to migrant workers during the lockdown period. Home Minister Amit Shah has urged the state governments to immediately set up relief camps for migrant workers/pilgrims who are returning to their domicile states or attempting to do so. State were advised to give wide publicity and awareness using public address systems, technology and by utilising the services of volunteers and NGOs to inform them the location of the relief camps and the facilities being made available and relief package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and measures that the state government administration has undertaken.
States have been told to set up relief camps along the highways including setting up of tented accommodation to ensure that these persons will stay in the relief camps till the lockdown orders are in place. The shelters will have to be organized keeping in view various precautions including social distancing, with adequate medical checkup drives to identify and separate cases requiring quarantine or hospitalisation.