Q: How is the Gram Panchayat keeping count of the new returning migrants? What is the process followed for registering them under the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)?
Block Development Officer (BDO): The Chief Medical Officer's office informs the Panchayat about the migrants with details such as where they are arriving from. This information is saved in a database by the Panchayat Sachiv.
Migrants are given priority for enrolment in MGNREGS. Till now, we have secured livelihood for around 300 people.
Q: Has your district increased COVID-19 testing for potential patients? Are people following the social distancing norms and wearing masks? How are they penalised for violating these regulations?
BDO: Only people who are showing COVID-19 symptoms are being tested. Even now, we are not able to manage a lot of tests.
People are not wearing masks or following social distancing norms, which is extremely worrisome. Recently, the state government has issued a notification stating that a fine ranging Rs. 500-Rs. 5,000 can be imposed for not wearing mask in a public place.
This interview was conducted with a Block Development Officer (BDO) in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh in Hindi on 27 July 2020, and has been translated.