The Uttar Pradesh government today ordered the setting up of shelter homes to ensure that there is no movement of people while the nationwide lockdown is enforced. Migrants from other states, those workers who have proceeded to traverse the State on foot, will be kept in these shelter homes and under no circumstances will they be permitted to resume such movement.
Laying emphasis on the need to secure people in the district that they find themselves in during the COVID-19 outbreak, the UP government has declared that they will interrupt any movement of migrants and will keep them in shelter homes where healthcare services, food and daily essentials will be provided.
Soon after the nationwide lockdown came into force, from midnight of March 25, a large number of workers who had internally migrated to different states were left without any means of income and very limited resources for survival. The following days have seen an exodus of sorts, wherein a number of migrant workers have proceeded to try and walk home to their villages, in the absence of any other mode of transport. The present order pertains primarily to such aggrieved workers.
In its order, the UP government has raised concerns over how a large number of people from different states are entering Uttar Pradesh through various mediums. Claiming that "sending" individuals or granting permission to cross borders is against the Rules of the lockdown laid out by the Central government, the order questions the attitude of its adjoining state governments.
The government has also expressed its apprehension that this kind of movement during the outbreak of a pandemic could lead to a serious situation resulting in a surge of cases.
In this light, the order reads (translated) "it is of utmost importance to identify where a person is currently situated, and ensure that they continue to remain there. In order to ensure the same, medical and other healthcare facilities will be provided to the destitute, along with food, lodging and other daily essentials. For this purpose, establishment of community kitchens and shelter homes is ordered."
The UP government also proposes to get in touch with the administration and police of adjoining states and request them to take similar steps whereby people belonging to UP but living in other states be stopped in those districts itself and not be allowed to move from there until the lockdown is over.
It has further been informed that the UP government has decided to provide food, medicine and lodging for those who are from other states, and cannot fend for themselves, in such shelter homes. It is forcefully reiterated that under absolutely no circumstance will people be given any relaxation to move out of the district they find themselves in.
To implement this order effectively, concerned District officers will prepare forms which record the description of everyone who is kept in these shelter homes, specifically those who have come from other states, and provide a daily update of the same to the Principal Staff Officer of the Chief Secretary.