Bihar rejoices as Centre clears decks for migrants’ return
The Union home ministry on Wednesday allowed migrant workers, tourists, students and other people stranded in different parts of the country to return to their respective destinations with certain conditions.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 20:15 IST
The Union home ministry’s order on Wednesday allowing migrant workers, tourists, students and other people stranded amid the lockdown in different parts of the country to return to their respective destinations with certain conditions has cleared the decks for return of migrants from Bihar in other states.
Bihar’s Additional Solicitor General SD Sanjay said the Union home ministry’s order would now be submitted in the Patna High Court which is scheduled to hear on May 5 a bunch of four public interest litigations (PILs) seeking direction to the Bihar government for the evacuation of stranded students.
The Centre’s order gives hope to students as well as migrants to return home from states where they have been stranded since the lockdown began.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the decision of the Centre with regard to stranded migrant population, including students, was a welcome step and in keeping with state’s request. “The Centre has taken a positive decision on our request. This will help a great deal in bringing back the interested migrant population stranded in different states. Following the Centre’s guidelines is in the interest of everyone. Bihar government has always followed the directions issued under the Disaster Management Act,” he said.
Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah for accepting the state’s request to have a standard protocol for stranded migrants.
“The matter was also raised by chief minister Nitish Kumar during PM’s video conferencing with CMs. The CM wanted go-ahead from the Centre. Now, the order will help Bihar bring back students and other stranded anywhere,” he added.
LJP MP Chirag Paswan was quick to thank home minister Amit Shah for relaxing norms to ensure return of migrants, while RJD claimed that its relentless demand for return of migrants had borne fruits. Leader of Opposition Tejaswhi Prasad Yadav said that now the migrants should be brought back at the earliest.
Nitish Kumar had so far refused to evacuate students from Kota. He had said that the state was strictly adhering to the central guidelines on the lockdown, and it will not be possible to evacuate anybody until the Centre amended or issued fresh directive in this regard.
The MHA order says that in case of inter-state movement, “the sending and receiving states may consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by road”.
“The moving persons would be screened and those found asymptomatic would be allowed to proceed. Sanitized buses with social distancing among passengers shall be used for transport of group of persons,” says the order from home secretary Ajay Bhalla.
The states/UTs on the transit route will allow the passage of such persons to the receiving state and on arrival such passengers would again be assessed by the local health authorities and kept in home quarantine, unless the assessment requires them to keep them in institutional quarantine.
“They will be kept under watch required to undergo periodic health checkup. They may be encouraged to install Araogya Setu App for regular tracking,” says the order.