New Delhi, Apr 16: The Centre on Thursday asked the States and Union Territories (UTs) Governments to appoint 'district-level nodal officer' to effectively deal with the issues of migrant labourers stuck across the country due to the nationwide lockdown.
The Centre's move comes after the incidents of large gatherings of migrant workers in cities demanding means to go back to their native places. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held discussion with top officials of the States and UTs and asked them to appoint district level nodal officers to mitigate the issues of these people. A senior Government official said the stranded migrant labourers were getting impatient with challenges of food and livelihood and these nodal officers will look into the arrangements to respond to the hardships. The Cabinet Secretary, during the interaction with Chief Secretaries and Administrators, has asked them to appoint district nodal officers immediately with specific mandate to address the issues of safety, shelter and food for stranded migrant labourers.
'District Collectors must appoint nodal officers who will be responsible for coordinating arrangements for migrant labourers. Senior officials of the district should be in charge of each of the camps,' a senior official privy to the deliberation said. Bandra in Mumbai and Surat in Gujarat have recently reported incidents of the migrant labourers showing desperation to go back to their respective native places with the workplaces shut due to the lockdown. Also, the official said, more camps are needed to be set up for the labourers, including those who are stranded at various places, to ensure they do not become the targets of the pandemic.
'A lot of videos have emerged of migrant labourers stuck at places, crammed in small areas, with visible lack of social distancing norms. Therefore, it is imperative on the part of administration to address the issue in right earnest at the district levels across the country,' the official said. (UNI)