The allowance made for stranded migrant labourers to return home amid the countrywide lockdown is not open to everyone, the states have been reminded by the Centre. Over the last few days, lakhs of migrant workers have registered to return to their homes in various states. Many of them have taken the special trains which the Centre agreed to run after much back and forth with the states.
Today, in a letter to the states, the Centre said only people who have been stranded away from home by the imposition of the countrywide lockdown in March, can use the facility.
Referring to its order on Wednesday, the Union home ministry said: “The facilitation envisaged in the aforesaid orders is meant for such distressed persons, but does not extend to those categories of persons, who are otherwise residing normally at paces, other than the native places for purposes of work etc and who wish to visit their native places in normal course.”
In its order issued on Wednesday, the Union home ministry said stranded migrant labourers, students, pilgrims or tourists who do not have symptoms of coronavirus can return to their home states. The order included some guidelines, which specifically asked the states to appoint nodal bodies and draw up protocols for the movement of stranded people
Today’s reminder comes amid worry in states that the exodus might leave minimal workforce in various industries. The decision to issue the clarification came after the cabinet secretary’s meeting with state Chief Secretaries.
Since Friday, as the Centre started running trains, thousands of migrant labourers have already reached their home states. Many others have taken the buses run between some north Indian states.