Maharashtra’s Covid curbs leave migrants worried about job loss

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on April 07, 2021

A group of migrant workers wait under the shade of a tree outside Lokmanya Tilak Terminus railway complex in Mumbai   -  AFP

The Maharashtra government’s orders curbing people’s movement and working hours of industries and businesses to tackle the surge in Covid-19 cases has sparked a wave of fear among migrant workers about being stranded without work.

“While the government has not announced a full lockdown, the restrictions may ultimately lead to a total shutdown of activity considering the rising number of Covid cases” feared Asif a migrant construction worker from Bihar.

Industry players too worry that the government’s restrictions would not smooth functioning of businesses.

The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) has stated that the heightened uncertainty has unsettled inter and intra-state migrant labourers. If they choose to leave for home, it would be devastating for the recovery process.

According to reports some of the migrant workers in Mumbai and Pune industrial belts are set to leave. “There is fear that the government might stop buses and trains and they would be stuck here without any work or livelihood,” said a migrant worker at a construction site in Pune’s Kondhwa region, echoing the prevalent concern.

The State government on Wednesday issued a clarification on its earlier orders saying that public transport will be allowed to function with some conditions. Also, the government has said that quarantine centres that have to be set up for industries having more than 500 workers must have all basic facilities on campus.

Published on April 07, 2021

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