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Centre May Send 'Stop Walking Migrants' Reminder to States, New Rules Could Make Dist Collectors Responsible

By: Arunima


Last Updated: May 16, 2020, 21:15 IST

Image used for representation.

Image used for representation.

Officials told CNN-News18 that MHA guideline could mention opening up of more Shramik trains to ferry migrants home. Union home secretary wrote to states for a second time on Friday that migrants must be stopped from walking on the roads and railway tracks.

New Delhi: In a bid to regulate the exodus of migrants from cities, Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority have come up with a portal 'National Migrant Information system' to document the labourers and facilitate their transport.

In a fresh letter to states, the Union Home Secretary has asked states to use the portal for better inter-state coordination on the migrant movement issue. "The system will help in speedy communication between states without creating additional work for field officers. It has additional advantage like contact tracing, which may be useful in Covid response work," he said. The portal seeks Aadhaar and mobile details to help migrants travel in Shramik trains and keep a track on them.

The focus on migrants is likely to continue in the Ministry of Home affairs guideline for lockdown 4 too. The Railway Minister has tweeted that more Shramik trains will be offered to states.

Officials told CNN-News18 that MHA guidelines could mention opening up of more Shramik trains to ferry migrants home with the onus on district collectors to ensure that adequate arrangements are made for migrants who want to move.

"Under the Disaster Management Act, the collectors are empowered. They can tabulate the number of migrant labourers in their district and accordingly arrange for buses. States can use the district wise data to tabulate how many trains are needed. Centre is willing to lend a helping hand," a MHA official said.

The guidelines could also open up auto and bus travel in non-containment zones with passenger restrictions. Air travel in green zones, especially for those who are stuck because of the lockdown is also being considered.

Senior officers of MHA met the cabinet secretary on Saturday to finalise the guidelines after states sent their recommendations. States like Bengal and UTs like Delhi have demanded more say in deciding zones and officials said this is being considered.

The fourth phase of lockdown could be for two weeks till May 30. The municipal areas where stringent restrictions continue could be Brihanmumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Palghar, Solapur, Nashik and Thane in Maharashtra; Cuddalore, Chengalpattu, Ariyalur, Villupuram, Tiruvallur and Greater Chennai in Tamil Nadu; Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat in Gujarat; Delhi; Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh; Howrah and Kolkata in West Bengal; Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan; Agra and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and Greater Hyderabad in Telengana; Amritsar in Punjab and Berhampur in Odisha.

These localities continue to show heavy viral load. The municipal authorities of these areas met Union health secretary to discuss measures to control the Covid spread.
first published:May 16, 2020, 19:45 IST
last updated:May 16, 2020, 21:15 IST