Mumbai, March 30 Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said the government has set up 262 camps for migrants across the state as Covid-19 deaths touched 9 with another 215 positive cases.
"These are presently providing shelter to 70,399 migrant labour/the homeless people, to ensure that they have food and a roof in this crisis," Thackeray said.
The development came as the problem of migrant labourers - both from other states and within, who have been stranded all over after the sudden lockdown implemented since March 25 at midnight.
This resulted in panic reactions as many made frantic attempts to leave the state and return to their homes-states amid uncertainties of jobs and availability of food, sanitation and medical facilities.
Their problems were highlighted when a group of 225 migrants made a daring escape from Telangana to Maharashtra to Madhya Pradesh to reach their home state Rajasthan in three container trucks, travelling 2,000 kms in 60 hours. - as reported on March 28.
"Many more are entering or leaving the borders across the Maharashtra and it was very difficult to control or convince them. Now, since the government has started relief camps, the situation is expected to improve," said Advisor to CM Kishore Tiwari.
Officials say that more camps are expected to come up over the next couple of days for the migrants, but the exact numbers are still being collected from various districts.
On Sunday, Thackeray appealed to all migrants to remain calm and assured that the state would take full care of them even as CMs of various states have issued reciprocal appeals to the migrants in their respective domains.
The government also plans to increase the number of 'Shiv Thali' subsidised meal scheme to 100,000 plates per day while reducing rates from Rs 10 to Rs 5 now, with plans to enhance its availability.
In a related development, Larsen & Toubro Group Chairman A. M. Naik announced it has set up a Rs 500 crore fund per month to take care of its 160,000 contract workers including continued pay, lodging-boarding, etc.
Besides, the company also announced a donation of Rs 150 crore to the PM Cares Fund.
Till Monday, Maharashtra has recorded 215 Covid-19 positive cases and 9 deaths, the highest in the country.
( With inputs from IANS )