SRINAGAR — Amid the lockdown imposed by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir, the non-local labourers are finding it easy to make their entry into the Kashmir valley, at a time when the region is facing serious economic crisis.
Jam-packed buses with non-local labouers have been entering Kashmir for the past many weeks, neglecting the Standard operating Procedure (SoP) that calls for 50 per cent seating capacity in public transport.
The non-local workers could be seen in the busses in large numbers on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
In J&K, the government has allowed the public transporters to carry only 50 per cent of their seating capacities, but the buses carrying the non-local labourers remain overcrowded, thus violating openly the government norms.
According to the locals, the jam-packed vehicles could prove disastrous amid the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
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, but it is shocking to see how the non-local workforce is being allowed to enter into J&K amid the prevalent situation.
It is worth mentioning here that the labourers while entering into J&K are being tested twice in Jammu and Qazigund. However, official sources said, they are being just tested while the SOPs are not being ensured at the spot as the vehicles carrying the non-locals are not 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, said the department is not supposed to look into the arrival of labourers and ensuring following of SOPs 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 could not be contacted for comments in this regard. (KNO)