Delhi govt made matters worse: Yogi on movement of migrant workers


PTI, Mar 31, 2020, 8:53 AM IST

Noida: Migrant workers in the national capital took to the roads as they couldn’t get essentials like food and the Delhi government made matters worse by arranging buses that offloaded these people at state borders, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Monday, March 30.

His remarks come in the backdrop of an exodus of migrant workers from cities in several states to their homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, with many setting out on foot due to non-availability of transport during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

“At a time when we should help each other, the Delhi government disconnected the electricity and water connections of these people (migrant workers). During the lockdown, these people did not get food, water, milk and other essential items and they took to the roads,” Adityanath said at a high-level meeting with government officials in Gautam Buddh Nagar.

“To make matters worse, the Delhi government arranged DTC buses to ferry and offload these people at state borders,” he said.

The chief minister instructed the officials to formulate a strategy to “quickly stop” the movement of migrant workers.

He also asked them to identify industries where there is no possibility of spread of coronavirus and where workers reside within the campus.

He cited the example of brick kilns where there is low community interaction within the workers.

“Officials can speak to the owners of such industries and advise them not to shut down, but ensure social distancing. If that happens, labourers will continue to be employed and not migrate,” Adityanath suggested.

He said the officers should ensure that employers pay their workers and they should also speak to landlords and request them to provide relief to their tenants.

“If possible, they can waive one month’s rent. If not, tenants should be given an additional month or two to pay the rent,” he added.

During the meeting, the chief minister directed officials to monitor social media and take action against those circulating false or misleading messages.

He said migrant workers panicked after a false message claiming that the lockdown would last three months went viral online.

He asked officials to take strict steps, including legal action, to stop such rumours.

Adityanath also directed the state officials to ensure that needy people benefit from the government’s relief schemes and ensure coordination with banks.

“Those who have bank accounts, money should be credited in their accounts and get bank accounts opened for people who do not have one. If additional residential complexes are needed, then the Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and the Yamuna Expressway Authority should identify places and arrange for them,” he said.

Principal Secretary Medical Education and Nodal Officer of the district Rajneesh Dubey; Commissioner, Meerut, Anita C Meshram and CEOs of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities were present at the meeting held at the Gautam Buddha University.

Commissioner of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Alok Singh; District Magistrate B N Singh; Chief Medical Officer Anurag Bhargava and others also attended the meeting.

Sixteen new coronavirus cases were reported in UP on Monday, taking the total tally in the state to 88. Gautam Buddh Nagar district alone has reported 38 cases, officials said in Lucknow.

“Of the 88 patients, 14 have been discharged,” they said.

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