Coronavirus lockdown | Stop migrant workers at border districts: Orissa High Court

Migrant workers walk to their villages along the Mumbai-Pune highway during the 21-day countrywide lockdown, in Mumbai on March 29, 2020.

Migrant workers walk to their villages along the Mumbai-Pune highway during the 21-day countrywide lockdown, in Mumbai on March 29, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

Authorities directed to provide shelter, food, sanitation and medical check-ups in hygienic conditions


Taking exception to the movement of large numbers of migrant workers, the Orissa High Court on Sunday directed the administration to stop them at the border districts by providing them with shelter and food in hygienic conditions.

Also read | Centre tells States to set up camps for migrant workers

In the event of shortage of space, the HC also directed that district authorities should take over closed college and school premises having toilets facilities.

‘A serious problem’

“A serious problem is taking place involving movement of labourers/ workers/ working class [and] their families from neighbouring States and districts. There is no system in place to check if any of them is already corona affected or not,” said Justice Sanju Panda, Acting Chief Justice of Orissa HC, and Justice B. Rath.

They observed that such large- scale movement may aid the spread of the coronavirus, and that it would also be difficult to attend to thousands of such persons in need of medical attention.

The HC also felt that providing vehicles to aid such a large movement of people would be an uphill task.

Also read | Migrant workers returning to Balarampur village in West Bengal told to live in trees

The Division Bench directed the State government to instruct all border District Collectors and Superintendents of Police to make arrangements for the stay, food and sanitation, including medical check-ups of all such persons, in the bordering districts itself. The arrangement can continue at least till the lifting of the lockdown, it said.

Meanwhile, more than 15,000 migrant workers from other States stranded in Odisha have been provided food and shelter in 104 camps.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 12:19:11 AM |

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