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Coronavirus: WB govt asks district authorities to set up temporary shelters for migrants

PTI     March 30, 2020

In a fresh order, West Bengal government on Sunday asked authorities of every district to make adequate arrangements of temporary shelters for the poor people and migrant workers.

The order was issued by state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, citing a directive of the Ministry of Home Affairs for effective implementation of the lockdown measures.

"Adequate arrangements of temporary shelters and provision of food etc shall be made by the district administration for the poor and needy people, including migrant workers stranded due to lockdown measures in their respective areas," the order said.

"District administrations should explore the option of involving NGOs/civil society/other voluntary organisations to support and augment the services," it said.

The order further stated the migrant people and those having come from abroad, "and already under home/institutional lockdown", should be put under strict surveillance and in case of violation of home quarantine, they should be taken to the nearby quarantine centres of the state and kept there for 14 days.

The people who manage to move into the state despite these restrictions would have to be kept in the nearest government quarantine facility for a minimum period of 14 days as per standard health protocol, the order, which was described as "additional directives", stated. The order followed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's instruction to officials on March 27 to open 27-night shelters for the homeless in Kolkata.

Banerjee had also assured that the administration will do everything to mitigate the inconvenience of migrant workers from other states stranded in West Bengal due to the lockdown.

The order further said all employees, in industries- shops-commercial establishments, should make payment of wages of their workers on the due date and there shouldn't be any deduction for the closure period. It said landlords can't demand payment of rents from the migrants for one month and cannot force labourers and students to vacate their premises.

Also read: Coronavirus in India: Another patient dies in West Bengal, death toll at 2

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