Business Standard

In pics: Mass exodus of migrant workers amid 21-day nationwide lockdown

Although there is no official count of migrant labour, UP is among the states contributing a sizeable chunk

Migrants wait to board a bus to their respective villages during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Kaushambi, in Ghaziabad. Photo: PTI

Migrants wait to board a bus to their respective villages during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Kaushambi, in Ghaziabad. Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi
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With a nationwide lockdown many migrant workers have lost their jobs and are left with no savings, food or shelter.

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In view of this, majority of them decided to return home and even took recourse to walking long distances.

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Realising the political damage queues of people trudging on roads with their belongings on their backs could cause in the future, some state governments, including the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, quickly announced they were arranging transport to ferry them to their villages. And, this, in turn, led to even larger numbers gathering on borders and at bus stations of bigger cities.

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The massive exodus of migrant labour from industrial and commercial centres like Noida, Ghaziabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kolkata had caused chaos on Saturday.

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Fearing a renewed surge of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases by the movement of migrant labour, the central government cracked down hard on state administrations across the nation and ordered that the labourers should stay at the current place, and the administration must take steps to ensure thier well-being in situ.

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Later, on Sunday, following discussions with the Centre, state governments put elaborate plans in place to monitor those who had already reached home and to prevent more from travelling out, so that the spirit of the all-India lockdown was maintained.

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The states have been also asked to stop incoming buses at the border and place the occupants on mandatory 14-day quarantine. Food and other essentials should be made available to the people during this period.

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The Centre said action should be taken against landlords who are asking such tenants to vacate.

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First Published: Mar 31 2020 | 1:00 PM IST

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