New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday issued new Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for the movement of migrant workers by trains and has asked the states and UTs to operate more special trains in close coordination with the railways for transportation of the stranded workers.

In a communication to all state governments and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said fear of COVID-19 infection and apprehension of loss of livelihood are the main driving factors for the movement of stranded workers towards their homes.

"In order to mitigate the distress of migrant workers, I would be grateful if the following measures could be implemented," he said in the letter.

There should be more clarity about the departure of trains and buses, as lack of clarity coupled with rumours caused unrest amongst the workers. Special attention may be given to the specific requirements of women, children and elderly amongst the migrant workers, Bhalla said.

Besides, entry of buses carrying migrants at inter-state border should be allowed, adequate arrangement of food, health care and counselling to encourage the workers to remain at places where they are should also be made, he added.

These are the new SOPs issued by the MHA:

 

Permission will be given by the Ministry of Railways (MOR) in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

All states and UTs should designate nodal authorities and make necessary arrangements for receiving and sending such stranded persons.

The train schedule including stoppages and destination shall be finalised by the MOR based on the requirements of states and UTs and shall be communicated by the MOR to the states and UTs for making suitable arrangements for sending and receiving such stranded workers.

Train schedule, protocols for entry and movement of passengers, services to be provided in coaches, and arrangements with states and UTs for booking of tickets shall be publicised by MOR.

Sending states and UTs and the MOR shall ensure that all passengers shall be compulsorily screened, and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the train.

During boarding and travel, all passengers will have to observe social distancing.

On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state and UT.

Movement of migrant workers during the lockdown has become a humanitarian crisis with thousands of them being seen walking on roads and railway tracks ignoring government pleas to stay back at the place where they are.

 

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan