‘Returning migrants a threat to rural areas’ 

 #GS1 #IndianSociety #Migration #GS2 #Governance 

MHA status report to SC says that movement of masses might make pandemic ‘unmanageable’ 

  • State governments led by Uttar Pradesh arranged buses to bring back migrants, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Supreme Court that “so far rural India has largely remained safe from this disease”.   
  • In case of movement of large group of persons travelling together, the epidemic, which has already taken the form of a pandemic would manifest itself in its still most severe form making it unmanageable.  
  • The country was initially placed under a lockdown on March 24 in wake of the pandemic that was extended till May 3.   
  • With all forms of public transport suspended and State borders sealed, lakhs of migrant workers in urban areas started walking hundreds of kilometres to reach their homes.  

‘Migration unnecessary’  

  • There is no necessity for migration of workers to shift from place of occupation to the place of their residence and rush back to their villages.   
  • Their daily needs are being taken care of wherever they are working and the daily needs of their family members were being taken care of at their respective villages.  
  • It is submitted that migrant workers travelling barefoot or otherwise in large numbers inevitably and unknowingly defy the social distancing norms which is one of the globally accepted norm for preventing COVID and put their lives and others lives in danger.  
  • Uttar Pradesh was one of the first States to announce that it would arrange for migrant workers stuck across the country to return to their homes.  
  • The April 19 guidelines issued by MHA asserted that there will be no inter-State movement of labourers. Following U.P, other States like Punjab, Odisha, West Bengal, and Maharashtra were also coordinating for inter-State movement of labourers who wanted to return home.   
  • Bihar has been requesting the Centre to change its guidelines and allow students and workers to return home.  
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