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COVID-19 lockdown: MHA bars movement of labour outside states, union territories

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New Delhi, Apr 19: The ministry of home affairs has issued an Standard Operating System (SOP) on the movement of stranded labourers wherein it has issued an advisory where it has barred movement of the labour force between states, union territories.

Representational Image

Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla made it clear that there will be no inter-state movement of workers during the lockdown, which has been extended till May 3.

The order issued by Bhalla said that due to the spread of coronavirus, workers employed in industry, agriculture, construction and other sectors have moved from their respective places of work and are housed in relief and shelter camps being run by state and UT governments.

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Since additional 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.

To facilitate their movement within the state or UT, the following guidelines may be followed: The migrant labourers currently residing in relief and shelter camps in states and 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 SoP 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.

It may be noted that there shall be no movement of labour outside the state and UT from where they are currently located. During the journey by bus, it would be ensured that safe social-distancing norms are followed and the buses used for transport are sanitized as per the guidelines of the health authorities. The local authorities shall also provide for food and water etc., for the duration of their journey, the SOP said.

The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to combat the coronavirus endemic. While extending the lockdown till May 3, the prime minister declared that select activities will open up from April 20 in identified areas.

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