North Gazette News/ Shimla
CPIM leader and former deputy mayor Shimla, Tikender Singh Panwar has sought the immediate intervention of Himachal Chief Minister in the resolving the problems that are being faced by migrant workers in the state.
“The second phase of lockdown that may start shortly, I am sure will also be handled well under your leadership. However, there is one of the core issues that needs your intervention. And, that pertains to the plight of the migrant people working in the state of HP. I got a feel of it today, when I was in Shimla town to buy books and ration items. I could see a large number of migrant workers who were unable to go back to their homes and are now finding it difficult to live back in the towns in Himachal Pradesh,” he said. He said that the reason for writing this letter to you was to draw your attention to the second phase of the lockdown which as we all know will inevitably will be clamped in a day. He congratulated Chief Minister for successfully managing the present crisis emanating from the Covid-19. After Kerala, Himachal has become the second state to have such a high reach out to its people. Your government deserves all commendation, he added.
“I have also been getting frantic calls from some of the migrant workers, especially porters who are quite horrified as we enter the second phase. The reason for it happens to be that most of the migrant workers are running out of ration and they are finding it extremely difficult to sustain in such an environment,” Panwar said.
CPIM leader said that the ration supplied by the government was only to the ration cardholders. “The migrant workers do not have ration cards and hence are dependent upon their earnings. Since they have not earned a penny in the last 30 days, it is extremely difficult for them even to have two square meals a day. Some intervention was witnessed from the district administration Shimla, but that was too meagre. Providing just 5 kg of ration to a group of 30 people is ridiculous,” he added.
Panwar said that the situation was grave and situation like Surat and Delhi may occur in Shimla and even in other towns of the state. He requested chief minister to provide free ration to all the migrant workers, at least 30 kg to each member along with pulses and edible oil. There are agencies in the towns, the city governments are quite adept to identify the beneficiaries and this task can be given to them. This will also restrict the misuse of ration.
“Secondly, the city governments must be engaged; they have funds under the smart city and AMRUT missions. They must be given the liberty to utilise part of this fund to run community kitchens, as practised in a few states, for the migrant workers. This will help minimise the simmering discontent and at least allow the people to stay alive during the clampdown period,” he added.
CPIM leader said that some of the migrant workers who are from our neighbouring states like Jammu and Kashmir must be facilitated to go back to their native places for the time being.