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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: The Union Home Secretary has written to all States/UTs to take immediate steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter, to migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other unorganized sector workers during the 21-day Nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Similarly, States/UTs have been advised to take steps to ensure that students, working women from other States, etc. are also allowed to continue in their existing accommodation.

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The advisory suggests that in order to mitigate the situation for unorganized sector workers, particularly stranded migrant workers, States/UTs need to explore measures by involving various agencies, including NGOs, to provide food and shelter with basic amenities like clean drinking water, sanitation etc.

Further, States/UTs have also been advised to make these vulnerable groups aware of the measures taken by the Government including the provision of free food grains & other essential items through PDS, and streamline the distribution system. This would help prevent avoidable movement of such people, according to the advisory.

MHA has also advised that States/ UTs need to ensure that hotels, rented accommodations, hostels etc., continue to remain functional and delivery of essential items is streamlined, so that students, working women hostel inmates etc. are allowed to continue in existing facilities, while observing precautions.

While ensuring the supply of essential goods and services, States/UTs are being repeatedly directed to enforce the lockdown strictly and take action against violators under various provisions of law. This is imperative to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Notably, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had requested his counterparts to help people from Odisha stranded in various parts of the country amid the Covid-19 lockdown. Other Chief Ministers too followed suit and requested their counterparts to facilitate accommodation of the stranded.

Writing to the Chief Ministers, Patnaik urged them to provide the stranded people food, accommodation and security. The Odisha government would bear whatever was the cost of their safekeeping, he said.

Also Read: Odisha Fights Corona: More Hotels In Bhubaneswar Added As ‘Pay & Use’ Quarantine Centres

Patnaik had also said he had asked all district collectors in Odisha to assist persons in need from other states. "The cost will be met from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. We have put a monitoring team with the Principal Secretary of the Home Department to look after this and co-ordinate. In case anyone from your state is stranded in Odisha and our system has not responded, kindly inform me directly. I'm always available," said the Chief Minister.

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