A day after thousands of migrant workers flooded the Delhi's Vasant Vihar bus station to head back home, the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the states to provide them shelter and food. The centre has told the states that workers who have left for their hometowns be put in quarantine at the "nearest shelter" for two weeks.
Issued under the Disaster Management Act, the order directed employers to pay wages to their workers on due dates without any deduction. It also directed landlords not to ask a month's rent from poor workers and migrant labourers. Action will be taken against anyone who forces their tenants out.
"The states and Union territories shall ensure adequate arrangements of temporary shelters, and provisions of food etc. for the poor and needy people, including migrant labourers, stranded due to lockdown measures in their respective areas," NDTV quoted a Home Ministry order to the states as saying.
"The migrant people who have moved out to reach to their home states/home towns must be kept in the nearest shelter by the respective state/union territory government quarantine facilities after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days," it added.
Amid the lockdown, the Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments had said that they would arrange buses to help people reach their hometowns. While the UP government said 1,000 buses had been organised, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said 200 DTC buses would also be arranged.
Following the announcements, thousands of people violated the lockdown and gathered at Delhi's Anand Vihar bus station. The country is currently under a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.