Coronavirus Outbreak: Gujarat govt says migrant labourers not allowed to travel during lockdown, promises food and accommodation

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani

Press Trust of India March 27, 2020 19:42:50 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Gujarat govt says migrant labourers not allowed to travel during lockdown, promises food and accommodation

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government on Friday said migrant labourers would be given food and accommodation but won't be allowed to travel to their villages during the 21-day lockdown in force to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, an official said.

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Representational image of groups of daily wage labourers walking along an expressway. AP

The lockdown has left several daily-wagers without jobs and they have been seen moving on foot to their villages, in the absence of public transport, to tide over the resultant cash crunch.

"It has been decided that no migrant labourer will be allowed to leave on foot. District administrations have been asked to make arrangements for their food and accommodation. A special number, 1077, has been set up for migrant workers to contact for help," Ashwini Kumar, secretary in the chief minister's office told reporters reporters.

Valsad Collector CR Kharsan said police cases will be filed against migrant workers and their employers if they are found travelling to their villages.

"Employers or contractors who have employed migrant labourers will have to provide 21 days salary and food to them. If they fail, then migrant workers can contact 1077 helpline. But if anybody tries to travel to their villages, then a police case will be filed against such persons and their employers," Kharsan said.

Secretary in CMO Kumar said earlier, considering the humanitarianism aspect, the chief minister had allowed workers to leave by state transport and private buses, but that has been stopped and they would have to stay where they are presently.

"Government had deployed around 150 state transport and 500 private buses to take daily wage workers to Rajasthan and tribal areas of Gujarat in the last two days," he said.

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Kumar said people stranded due to the lockdown can call 1070 and seek help, adding that the government would make arrangements for their food and accommodation.

He added that the biometric system in place at fair price shops will not be used during April to stall the spread of the coronavirus .

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