NEW DELHI: Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla has urged all states and Union territories to take immediate steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter, to migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other unorganized sector workers during the 21-day national lockdown for containment of Covid-19.
All states/UTs have been advised to ensure that students and working women from other states are also allowed to continue in their existing accommodation during the lockdown.
The advisory suggests that the states involve other agencies including NGOs to provide food and shelter as well as basic amenities such as clean drinking water, sanitation etc to unorganised sector workers, particularly stranded migrant workers,
Further, states/UTs have been advised to make these vulnerable groups aware of the measures taken by the government including provision of free food grains & other essential items through the public distribution system (PDS), and to streamline the distribution system. This would help prevent avoidable movement of such people, according to the advisory.
MHA has also advised that states/ UTs to ensure that hotels, rented accommodations, hostels etc., continue to remain functional and delivery of essential items is streamlined, so that students, working women hostel inmates etc. are allowed to continue in existing facilities, while observing social distancing.
While ensuring supply of essential goods and services, states/UTs are being repeatedly directed to enforce the lockdown strictly and take action against violators under various provisions of law. This is imperative to contain the spread of COVID-19, the home ministry has underlined.