In view of the large scale movement of migrant workers/ labourers, who are crossing borders of states to return to their villages amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orissa High Court has instructed the state authorities to make apposite arrangements for providing food and shelter to such people, in addition to ensuring their medical screening.
Taking suo moto cognizance of the situation, the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court, Justice Sanju Panda and Justice B Rath said,
"A serious problem is taking place involving movement of labourers/working class and their family from neighboring states as well as neighboring districts. There is no system in place to check if any of them is already 'Corona' affected or not. Such large scale movement may aid the spread of Corona and again it also becomes difficult to attend such persons at thousands and thousand destinations."
Keeping this in view and in an attempt to restrict spread of 'Corona', the bench ordered,
"movement of such large number of persons during lock down period in the entire nation and as the Government is preparing to provide food and water to all such persons at their place, this Court taking this issue under PIL jurisdiction directs the State Government to give direction to all bordering district Collectors and Superintendent of Police to make arrangement of stay, food and sanitation arrangement including medical check-up of all such persons in the bordering districts itself."
Similarly, with regard to shifting at district level, the concerned district Collectors and Superintendents of Police have been directed to make similar arrangements, at least till lifting of lock down.
Further, in the event of shortage of space, the court said, the authorities may take over closed college and school premises having toilets for the above purpose.
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