Guwahati, Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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Dist admins authorised to decide on transport needs
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, May 19 - Moved by the plight of migrant workers, the Centre on Tuesday authorised the district administrations to give their requirement to the Railways.

In a fresh communication to the state chief secretaries, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla called for proactive coordination among the states and the Railways to run more trains for smooth transport of migrant workers. “The district authorities must give their requirements to the Railways,” Bhalla said.

He also suggested the states to run more buses and ensure their smooth transition across states and inter-state borders. He also called for more clarity on departure of trains and buses, as lack of clarity coupled with rumours caused unrest among the migrant workers.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has noted that fear of COVID-19 infection and apprehension of loss of livelihood were some of the main driving factors for the movement of stranded workers towards their homes.

The district administrations were also directed to make arrangement of designated rest places with adequate facilities for sanitation, food and healthcare on the routes migrant workers are known to be already travelling on foot.

District authorities may guide these workers moving on foot to designated rest places, nearby bus terminals or railway stations by arranging their transportation, he said.

District authorities may also involve NGO representatives at rest places to alleviate long quarantine at rest places, he suggested, adding, workers may also be encouraged to remain at places where they are.

The communication reiterated that district authorities must ensure that no migrant worker has to resort to walking on roads or railway tracks to reach their destination. They may request the Ministry of Railways for running trains as per requirement.

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