Haryana: To stop migrant labourers from moving, CM Khattar orders sealing of inter-district borders

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A few days ago, the government had sealed the state's borders with Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to prevent unwarranted rush of people from other states into Haryana. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday ordered for all inter-district borders to be sealed in an attempt to prevent migration of labourers from various parts of the state.

A few days ago, the government had sealed the state's borders with Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to prevent unwarranted rush of people from other states into Haryana.

The state government is also contemplating permitting brick kilns to operate during the ongoing 21-day lockdown period that is scheduled to end on April 14. State Cabinet Minister Kanwar Pal on Sunday said, “If the workers want to work at brick kilns, they can continue to work there. But they will have to strictly adhere to the principles of social distancing and take adequate precautions.”

The government said it has created 129 'shelter/relief homes' for migrant labourers across the state and food is being provided to 29,328 labourers staying in these homes. “The number of these homes shall continue to increase, depending on requirement,” it stated.

Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora said, “The state government has made elaborate arrangements for migrant labourers for their food and lodging. Special shelter/relief homes have been created in each district. The chief minister has strictly issued directions to closely monitor and stop the movement of migrant labourers.”

While presiding over the crisis coordination committee meeting with senior officers, she also directed all deputy commissioners that, “Migrant labourers in each district should be immediately shifted to the ‘shelters/relief homes’. Food facility should be assured to each migrant staying in these homes.”

Arora also directed officers to conduct “special health camps at the borders for migrant labourers, alongwith thermal screening and other medical tests”.

“Deputy commissioners should also explore possibility of converting stadiums in their respective districts into places for temporary stay for these labourers,” she added.

“According to directions issued by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), stay and food arrangements of labourers engaged under this authority will be made by the NHAI, then all district administration officers will coordinate with the NHAI...,” Arora said.