The Union Home Ministry told Folk News the reason behind the migration of migrant workers during the lockout. The ministry told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the workers had fled the lockdown due to fake news. The ministry said migrant workers were concerned enough to provide adequate supplies such as food, water, healthcare and livelihoods.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Nityananda Roy said the Union government was “fully aware” of the situation and all necessary measures had been taken during the lockout to ensure that no citizen was deprived of basic amenities like food, water and medical treatment. Earlier, on Monday, the central government told parliament that it had no information on how many migrant workers had died in the lockdown since March 25.
The Home Ministry said that the central government had taken various measures to alleviate the problem of migrant workers, including setting up a control room in the ministry under the supervision of senior officials at the joint-secretary level with representatives of the main central ministry. Rai said in a written reply, ‘Complaints of people trapped, including migrant workers, have been removed from these control rooms. These include complaints such as food, transportation, shelter, etc. The states and union terri tories were advised to set up helplines and control rooms.
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He said the central government has allowed state governments to use the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to provide temporary accommodation, food, clothing, medical care, etc. to migrant workers.
Asked by Manish Tiwari why there was a nationwide lockdown on just four hours’ notice, Rai said, “Such a decision was taken to stop any major movement. Coronavirus is a contagious disease. The movement of people can spread it rapidly to other parts of the country. The minister said the Covid-19 could not spread quickly due to the lockdown.