Kerala to set up night shelters for migrant workers resembling labour camps in Gulf

Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014,21:06 IST By metro vaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Considering the increasing inflow of labourers to Kerala from other states, the state Urban Affairs Department has drawn up a project to set up night shelters in selected municipalities and corporations.
The construction of the first such night shelter has already begun at Perumbavoor near Kochi, one of the largest hub of migrant labour population in the state.
A top official said the proposed night-shelters are planned as short-stay facilities offering accommodation for two or three days.
Many migrant workers, who come to the city or town for the first time for work, may not get suitable shelters in the initial days. So, they are forced to stay at bus-stands or railway stations. We have conceptualised the project considering their plight, state Urban Affairs Director E Devadasan told PTI.
The proposed night shelters will comprise dormitory, locker facilities and toilets, he said.
Besides migrant labourers, native labourers who face difficulty in finding temporary locations to stay during night would also be accommodated there, he said.
The official, however, said, getting sufficient land is the major hurdle the project is facing.
We cannot set up the night shelters on our own without the support of corporations and municipalities. They should show more interest in the project and in finding suitable land for the construction, he said.
A total of Rs 50 lakh is estimated as initial budget for the project.
A nominal rent would be charged from the occupants of the dormitory as maintenance cost, the official added.
According to rough estimates, Kerala is home to over three million migrant workers, including skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled. They mainly hail from Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.

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