NEW DELHI: The Centre has launched an online dashboard to monitor and facilitate the smooth movement of migrant workers and their contact-tracing during lockdown across the country.
In a communication to all states and union territories, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the central government has already allowed the movement of migrant workers by buses and Shramik Special trains to enable them to travel to their native places.
He said to collect information and facilitate movement of migrants, the National Disaster Management Authority has developed the online dashboard -- National Migrant Information System (NMIS) -- on the existing NDMA-GIS portal.
Bhalla said the portal will maintain a central repository and help the sending as well as receiving state and district to ask for and give their acceptance in an online format seamlessly.
"This system will help in speedy communication between states without creating additional work at the level of the field officers. It has additional advantages like contact-tracing, which may be useful in overall COVID response work," he said.
The states can upload individual data on the portal.
As many states have already collected migrant data, this can be integrated through Application Programming Interface (API).
The key data pertaining to the persons migrating has been standardized for uploading such as name, age, mobile no, originating and destination district, date of travel etc, which states are already collecting.
Bhalla's letter stated the states will be able to visualize how many people are going out from where and how many are reaching destination states.
The mobile numbers of people can be used for contact-tracing and movement monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A unique ID is generated for each migrant, which can be used for all transactions.
The Government of India nodal ministries can also monitor the movement of migrants through this portal.
"I urge you to use the online portal NMIS for capturing the information on the movement of migrants and for better inter-state coordination," Bhalla said.
The movement of migrant workers during lockdown has become a humanitarian crisis with thousands of them walking on roads and railways tracks ignoring government pleas to stay at the place where they are.
At least 16 such people were mowed down by a goods train in Maharashtra while at least 25 others were killed in road accidents in different parts of the country.
The home secretary said in his letter that the transportation services for migration during the current COVID crisis are being facilitated by operating Shramik Special trains and buses in cooperation with the origin-state, destination-state and the transport provider (railways or buses).
But there are many issues involved in the movement of migrants, including contact-tracing, planning of trains, planning of quarantine facilities in destination-states and planning of return when the migrants want to return.
So far, about 3.5 lakh migrant workers have been moved in 350 trains and more such journeys are being planned.
To provide the facility of contact-tracing, both individual particulars and spatial identifiers (origin, destination address) need to be captured.
Also, many of the workers may undertake reverse journeys in the near future.
A ready database can be of help in planning such return journeys in a systematic manner.
Automation of the process of labour migration will provide a central repository, which can be used by each stakeholder with their login credentials as a decision-support tool.
The NMIS Dashboard is a geospatial platform as a decision-support system for the current pandemic situation.
In the portal, various dashboards have been created i.e. public dashboard, logistic management, risk index, quarantine alert etc which are being used by states for containment of the spread of coronavirus.