The Bombay High Court Wednesday sought details from the state government on the exact number of persons who have migrated to Mumbai and its neighbouring districts from drought-hit areas, and what steps it has taken to help and rehabilitate such ‘drought refugees’. A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice M S Sonak directed the government to submit the details by Friday.
The direction was given during the hearing of a public interest litigation taken up by the HC suo motu in April this year, following media reports on the plight of drought refugees who had migrated from Nanded to Mumbai and had no access to food, drinking water and shelter.
Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani informed the court that temporary shelters and other facilities have been provided to ‘drought refugees’ in Thane and Ghatkopar.
Sanje Lakhe Patil, an intervener in the matter, said while thousands had migrated to Mumbai and Pune, the government had failed to provide facilities. “Even if you tell us about one case, we can pass orders in the matter,” said Justice Kanade.