Maharashtra CM assures migrant workers, ‘will protect them, provide food’ amid COVID-19 lockdown


Migrant workers gather outside Anand Vihar bus terminal as they leave India's capital for their homes during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in New Delhi on March 29, 2020. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP)

As the migrant crisis continues amid nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday assured that his government will take care of all migrant labourers and provide them basic necessities like food and water. The ‘Shiv Bhojan’  scheme offering meal at Rs 10 will now be available at Rs 5 from April 1, he said in a webcast.

Uddhav Thackeray said the state has already set up 163 centres across the state to provide food and water to the migrant labourers.

“The state will protect them and provide food, but they should not leave their place. I understand that they are anxious but they should not leave. They should avoid increasing the risk of infection, Uddhav Thackeray said.


In view of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, several migrant labourers are left with no work and hence, they are leaving the state to return to their native places.

A number of them have been marching on foot, while some tried to make their way out of the state in goods trucks and tempos, but were caught during police checking. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has gone up to 193 with 12 more people testing positive for coronavirus, a health official said on Sunday.

Meanwhile Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also appealed to the migrant workers to stay put in the state, and avoid the spread of deadly infection on Sunday. He assured the workers that the state has made full arrangements for their food and shelter.