Coronavirus Lockdown Hits Daily Wage Labourers In Odisha, BJP Demands Special Package
Bhubaneswar: It’s now three days into the unprecedented lockdown in Odisha as part of government’s initiative to contain the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown has adversely affected the normal life of people across the State. But the COVID19 lockdown has literally robbed the daily wage earners of their livelihood.
Apart from the daily wage earners, others engaged in the unorganized sector and small traders are also worst hit by the restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID19 outbreak. As per an estimate, nearly 2 crore daily wage labourers, others engaged in the unorganised sector and small traders are now at the receiving end as their income has almost dried up.
Moreover, the Odisha government today announced an immediate stoppage of all construction related activities across the State in view of the coronavirus outbreak. In a notification issued by the Health and Family Welfare department, all construction works will remain suspended except construction work for healthcare facilities and work related to COVID19.
Narrating his ordeal, Anju Pradhan, who sells saplings at Unit-1 market in Bhubaneswar, said he has almost lost his business in the last three days. Not only Pradhan, the condition of nearly 22,000 street vendors in Bhubaneswar and two lakh across the State is no different.
“Under such circumstances what can we do. It has almost become hard to run the family,” said Pradhan.
Keeping in view the problems faced by the workers in the informal sector, the Centre on Tuesday directed all States to provide financial and allied benefits to construction workers through direct benefit transfer (DBT) from the Construction Cess fund.
Following such directive, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra also demanded that Odisha government should also rise up to the expectation and announce a special package.
As per reports, Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has proposed to give Rs 5,000 to each construction worker whose livelihood has been affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus.
“The state government should announce for some package for those labourers who are now at the receiving end,” said Mohapatra.
Echoing similar views, Congress MLA Suresh Routray said, “The situation certainly calls for some assistance for every people in the society. Special attention should be given to the labour force.”