Execution of lockdown, reopening of livelihood kept MHA busy in 2020

Execution of lockdown, reopening of livelihood kept MHA busy in 2020

New Delhi: With normal life going haywire due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the home ministry was busy almost the entire 2020 in formulating strategies for strict implementation of nationwide lockdown measures, subsequent reopening of livelihood and economic activities and providing relief to those hit by the restrictions like migrant workers.

The year also saw Union Home Minister Amit Shah personally taking charge to improve Delhi's healthcare facilities and curb the spread of Coronavirus - not once but twice - when the national capital saw an alarming rise in positive cases.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) got involved in a slugfest with Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal over the state's law-and-order situation in the wake of an attack on the convoy of BJP president J P Nadda in the state.

The MHA also provided help to several states which were struck by cyclones and gave crucial inputs that ensured that Pakistan remain in "Grey" list of global terror funding and money laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24 in a bid to tackle the pandemic, its strict implementation became the responsibility of the MHA under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The act empowers the Union Home Secretary to issue all orders for the lockdown and reopening as he officiates as the chairperson of the National Executive Committee under the law.

Scores of lockdown orders, guidelines were issued since then, taking into account the spread of the virus, people's needs, giving opportunities for livelihood and

other issues.

The central government, however, received flak for the sudden announcement of the lockdown, which drove lakhs of migrant workers to leave their places of work even on foot, thus creating a humanitarian situation.

Soon, the Centre allowed state governments and Union Territory administrations to utilise the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), to which Rs 29,000 crore had been allocated for the next fiscal, for providing food and shelter to migrant workers hit by the lockdown.

The MHA also allowed the Indian Railways to run special trains to transport the migrant workers from various places to different destinations.

The unlock process in the country began on June 1 with the graded reopening of commercial, social, religious and other activities.

Since the issuance of the first order on lockdown measures by the home ministry on March 24, almost all activities have been gradually opened up in areas outside the containment zones.

Next Story
Share it