COVID-19 Lockdown: Odisha Govt Issues SOP For Intra-State Movement Of Labourers

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to facilitate intra-state movement of about 16,000 the stranded labourers during the lockdown period to participate in different economic activities including agriculture.

While a number of labourers have commenced work across various locations in the state, the state government has decided that those who are stranded and wish to travel within the state for work, will be allowed do so in an organized manner. They can travel to their place of work, as per following guidelines issued by the Revenue and Disaster Management Department.

— The industries/agencies/labour contractors will be allowed to transport their labourers in dedicated and designated buses from camps to the workplace within the state, maintaining social distancing and other relevant safety protocols prescribed by the government. Such industries/agencies/contractors will report details of such labourers, destinations and buses to the concerned district collector, through the District Labour Officer (DLO) who will issue movement pass to such contractors across the districts for the said purpose. The concerned collectors may requisition buses to facilitate such movement if required. However, the expenditure on this account will be borne by the concerned industry/ agency/ contractor.

— In such cases where the stranded labourers do not belong to any particular industry/agency/contractor, the concerned BDOs/DLOs shall bring it to the notice of the district collector/PD DRDA, who will make arrangements for such labourers to travel to the destination of their workplace in groups. The collector will requisition buses through the Regional Transport Officers (RTOs). The collectors are authorized to make expenditure on this account from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF).

— The buses, which are off-road due to lockdown, will be made operational to carry the labourers. Monthly payment of road tax for such requisitioned buses will be waived. The Commerce and Transport Department will issue necessary orders in this regard.

— Since these stranded labourers have already completed the recommended quarantine period of 14 days in their respective camps, the recipient local authorities (sarpanch/executive officer, urban local body/collector) shall not insist upon further quarantine of such arriving labourers and will facilitate their joining the workforce immediately. The Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department and Housing and Urban Development UD Department will issue instructions in this regard to the concerned authorities under their jurisdiction.

The district collectors of the host and recipient districts shall work in close coordination. The Project Director District Rural Development Authority (PD DRDA) will act as district nodal officer. The DLO will report to the PD DRDA for this work. At the state level, the Labour Commissioner and Transport Commissioner will coordinate the matter.

— The data related to their daily movement will be compiled by the DLOs, in regular coordination with the BDOs, both at the destination and the recipient district, and will be furnished to Labour Commissioner, on daily basis.

— A high-level committee, chaired by Agriculture Production Commission (APC)-cum-Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) and also comprising principal secretaries, Labour & ESI and Commerce & Transport as members, will review and monitor the movement on a daily basis.

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