Commencing hearing on the plight of stranded migrant workers due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court Friday said it intended to give a 15-day deadline to the Centre and states for transporting all such labourers back to their native places. The court, which had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue, will now pronounce the order on June 9.
“What we intend to do is give you and states 15 days time to transport all migrants. States should bring on record how they will provide employment and other kinds of relief to migrants who returned. There should be a registration of migrants,” Justice Ashok Bhushan told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
Mehta informed the bench, which also comprised of Justices SK Kaul and MR Shah, that till June 3, over 4,200 ‘Shramik Special’ trains have been deployed to transport migrant workers to their native places. He also informed the court that till now over one crore migrant workers have been transported to their destinations and most of the trains ended up in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
He said state governments can tell as to how many more migrant workers need to be shifted and how many trains are required for that purpose.
On May 28, the top court had questioned the Centre and states on the plight of stranded migrant workers and directed that no fare be charged from them for their journey home, and that arrangements be made to provide them with food. It had also directed that states share the bus or train fare of the stranded migrants returning home. It said while the state from where they set out shall provide meal and water at the bus station, the Railways should provide it during the journey.
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