Amid lockdown, non-local labourers enter Kashmir in jam-packed vehicles

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Amid lockdown imposed by the government to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in Jammu and Kashmir, the non-local labour force has been finding it  easy to make their entry into the Valley at a time with the region is facing serious economic crisis due to pandemic.

The jam packed buses with non-local labouers are entering into Kashmir throwing away the Standard operating Procedure (SoP) that calls for 50 per cent seating capacity in public transport, to winds. As per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the non-local labourers are visiting Jammu and Kashmir to earn their livelihood.

However, the non-local work force could be seen in the busses in large numbers on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the government has ordered 50 per cent seating capacity in the transport while the busses carrying the non-local labourers remain overcrowded, thus violating the government norms in an open.

According to the locals, the jam-packed vehicles could prove disastrous amid the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir.

They said that the government has not been allowing the public transport to ply at most of the places despite following the SOPs in spirit; it is shocking to see how the non-local workforce is being allowed to enter into Jammu and Kashmir amid the prevalent situation in the Union Territory.

It is worth mentioning here the labourers while entering into J-K are being tested twice in Jammu and Qazigund respectively. However, the official sources said that they are being only tested while the SOPs are not being ensured at the spot as the vehicles carrying the non-locals are not being even asked about the violation of seating capacity norms, which can prove dangerous amid the present circumstances.

Meanwhile, Labour Commissioner, J-K, Abdul Rashid War when contacted told KNO the department is not supposed to look into the arrival of labourers and ensuring SOPs are followed by them.

“The teams have already been constituted by the government at Lakhanpur and other places to see whether the protocols are followed. We have nothing to do with the concerned issue,” he said.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir P K Pole and other officials couldn’t be contacted for the comments in this regard—(KNO)

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