Karnataka to arrange stranded labour movement for work

Bengaluru, April 25 : With the easing of lockdown norms to revive economic activity in non-hotspots or containment zones, the Karnataka government directed district authorities to arrange transport for movement of stranded labourers in the state for construction or other works, an official said on Saturday.

"Chief Secretary T.M.

Vijay Bhaskar has directed deputy commissioners of the districts, which do not have Covid hotspots or containment zones to arrange buses or other vehicles for transporting the stranded labour to work sites only within the state," the official told IANS here.

Since the lockdown was enforced on March 25 and extended on April 15 up to May 3, thousands of local and migrant labourers have been staying at make-shift relief camps in cities, towns and border areas due to the suspension of bus and train services and ban on movement of people.

"The district authority should, however, ensure only 40 per cent of buses or other transport vehicle is occupied to maintain social/physical distancing while commuting.

The labour should wear masks and safety gear like gloves for their personal protection," said the official citing the order.

Though the state government on April 20 decided to continue the 19-day extended lockdown across the state till May 3, it partially relaxed guidelines on April 23 to allow select non-essential activities, including construction of houses and buildings, laying off and repair of roads and state/national highways.

"As thousands of workers employed in industry, agriculture, construction or other sector moved from their work places and are sheltered in relief camps during the lockdown, they can be screened and those who are asymptomatic can the transported to their work places with safety measures," said the order.

The order, however, banned movement of the migrant labourers outside the state, as lockdown continues and public transport services likes buses and trains remain suspended till May 3.

Construction works in urban and rural areas where labour can be used include water supply, sanitation, laying and setting up of power transmission lines and electrical optic fiber and cables.

Growers of commodity plantations such as bamboo, coconut, areca nut, cocoa and spices can hire stranded workers for harvesting, processing, packaging, marketing and sale.

Of the 30 districts across the state, 13 are red spots with 12-120 positive cases, 8 orange spots with 1-11 cases and 10 are green spots with zero cases since the virus spread in March.

The partial relaxation has enabled industrial units, micro, small and medium enterprises to resume operations.

Manufacturing of essential goods like drugs, pharma products, medical devices and raw materials and intermediaries, food processing industries in rural areas and packaging materials has also been allowed.



Source: IANS