Coronavirus lockdown | Centre tells States to upload details of migrant workers online

It will help in contact tracing, planning of trains and reverse migration, it says

Updated - May 17, 2020 12:53 am IST

Published - May 16, 2020 09:26 pm IST - New Delhi

Stop-gap facility: Migrants workers who wish to return to their home towns have been housed at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, in Karnataka.

Stop-gap facility: Migrants workers who wish to return to their home towns have been housed at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, in Karnataka.

The Centre has asked the States to upload the details of migrants on an online dashboard that would help in speedy communication among them and aid in contact tracing. A unique ID will be generated for the migrants and their mobile numbers could be used for “contact tracing and movement monitoring during COVID-19 .”

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Weary migrant workers lug crashed hopes en route their homes

Other details such as Aadhar card number, train or bus details will be collected and fed into the system.

The dashboard — National Migrant Information System (NMIS) — has been developed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to all States on Saturday asking them to utilise the system as the “portal will maintain a central repository” and help the States and districts sending as well as receiving the migrants to seek and receive approval in an online format seamlessly. “This system will help in speedy communication between States without creating additional work at the level of the field officers. It has additional advantages like contact tracing, which may be useful in overall COVID response work,” Mr. Bhalla said.

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The letter said through the dashboard the States will be able to visualise how many people are going out from where and how many are reaching the destination States. It said the Central nodal Ministries can also monitor the movement though this portal.

An explainer provided by the MHA on the NMIS said there were many issues involved in the movement of migrants including contact tracing, planning of trains and quarantine facilities and their return. So far, around 3.5 lakh migrants have been moved in 350 trains.

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“Further to provide facility of contact tracing, both individual particulars and spatial identifiers [origin, destination address] need to be captured….it may also be noted that many of the workers may undertake reverse journeys in the near future. A ready database can be of help in planning such return journeys in a systematic manner.”

The note said the “data of these people is being handled by States and districts. There is no common platform where the exact data can be viewed from decision making process.” The system will not take away the governance power from the State government within the overall guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | 25 migrant workers die in Uttar Pradesh road accident

It said the portal will benefit the destination States and can plan logistics effectively as they will have the exact number of migrants before they arrive.

The note said the portal can be used to contact migrants to extend various schemes and also plan their return journey. “Migrants can be sent alerts on their mobile phones for various services like date of journey and in future for benefit transfer or contact with employers.”

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