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Migrant workers do not know procedures: Stranded Workers Action Network

The orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state travel orders have resulted in chaos among workers and administrators alike, the network pointed out. 

Published: 13th May 2020 01:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2020 01:07 PM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers on the long march towards their native places.(Photo | Biswanath Swain, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Migrant workers continue to be in distress about the procedures they need to follow to reach home amid the lockdown, the Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) said on Tuesday. 

The orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state travel orders have resulted in chaos among workers and administrators alike, the network pointed out. 

Currently, the travel registration procedure lacks clarity and standarisation, a review of the existing portals and procedures by SWAN said. While each state has developed its web portal to register workers, there was confusion as to whether workers have to register on portals of both states -- the states where they are stranded and the states where they intend to return, it said.  

The other challenge was that many portals were in English or in the local language of the resident state with most migrant workers not being conversant in these languages. While most migrant workers were stranded as families or groups, some portals did not allow group registration, the analysis said. Some portals even required scanned ID proofs with size limitations and specified file formats, while some others had mandatory ‘captchas’ to enter which did not make the process use-friendly. 

Workers also lacked information on the government orders on ticket fare waivers, it said. 

In the absence of information a black market had emerged with migrant workers reportedly paying between Rs 1,500 - Rs 8,000 to register for travel by bus and trains, SWAN said. 

The network urged the Centre to organise widespread announcements in every ward in the city in order to inform migrant workers about the facilitation centres. Registration of workers should not have any conditions. It should be based on if the worker wants to return home, the network recommended. 

The portal should allow those who have registered online and offline to track their application status in addition to messages sent to the workers’ phone numbers, it said. 

There is a need to run special feeder buses to transport workers from the each ward to the station. Since the number of passengers in each train and the time of arrival is known in advance, the home state should organise adequate numbers of buses/trains keeping physical distancing norms in mind for transportation within the states, SWAN suggested.
 

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