Kochi

Labour Dept.’s action plan aims to avert repeat of travail

The decision of the State Labour Department to chalk out an action plan specifically for migrant workers has proved timely with a State-wide nine-day lockdown kicking in from Saturday.

The plan submitted by the department for the well-being of migrants and subsequently approved by the government envisaged three different scenarios, of which one was the lockdown. The other two possibilities were the controlled and uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 with no lockdown.

The department has asked the State Police Chief to keep a close watch on the migrant worker-intense Payipadu in Kottayam and Perumbavoor in Ernakulam during the lockdown. Instigated by misinformation campaigns by unscrupulous elements, migrant workers had hit the streets in large numbers in violation of norms during the lockdown last year. The action plan aims at avoiding a repeat of that scenario and wants the police to clamp down on any such campaigns and fake news.

The formation of district-level monitoring cells comprising Collectors, Local Self-Government representatives and Labour Officers is another proposal. The cell will manage inter-department coordination if opening of special camps for migrants becomes inevitable.

The plan envisages four types of camps in such a scenario. There will be camps under the direct supervision of the district administration to be run with the help of local bodies, which will use their own funds to operate community kitchens to feed the residents. Camps managed by labour contractors, converting rented buildings of migrants into camps, and treating scattered shelters as camps where migrants are averse to move to other camps have also been proposed.

Labour Department officials have been asked to frequently visit the camps in coordination with the police, Local Self-Government, Health, Revenue, Motor Vehicles and Transport departments to ensure the well-being of migrants and availability of essential items.

During the last lockdown, the department had run 21,556 camps accommodating 4.34 lakh migrants.

Engaging the Civil Supplies Department for distribution of food kits to migrants has also been proposed. In the event of an exodus of migrant workers through railway stations, special registration counters to collect data will be opened, for which a letter has already been forwarded to the Railway Divisional Manager.

Special COWIN registration and facilitation centres for migrants, once the vaccination of those in the 18-45 age group gets under way, separate first-line treatment centres, and ensuring payment of pending dues of migrants also figure in the action plan.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 10:43:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/labour-depts-action-plan-aims-to-avert-repeat-of-travail/article34515040.ece

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