Send stranded migrant workers home in 15 days: SC tells Centre

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Published: June 6, 2020 3:30 AM

The apex court will also pronounce its order on Tuesday (June 9) on the problems faced by migrants in the wake of lockdown warranted by Covid-19 pandemic.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the court that the government has transported an approximate of one crore migrant labourers so far. Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the court that the government has transported an approximate of one crore migrant labourers so far.

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre and the state governments to transport all stranded migrant labourers to their respective states in 15 days.

A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah said: “What we intend to do is we will give you and the states 15 days’ time to transport all migrants. All states will bring on record how they will provide employment and other kinds of relief. There should be registration of the migrants.”

The apex court will also pronounce its order on Tuesday (June 9) on the problems faced by migrants in the wake of lockdown warranted by Covid-19 pandemic.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the court that the government has transported an approximate of one crore migrant labourers so far. “By road, 41 lakh migrant labourers have been transported, and 57 lakh by train,” he said.

Mehta said there has been no death because of lack of water, food and medicine, and all deaths took place due to existing illness. Besides, the entire country is working in tandem.

While the Bihar government also informed the apex court that 28 lakh people have returned to the state from the big cities, the Gujarat government submitted more than 20.5 lakh migrants have left the state for their homes elsewhere.

Additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain, who was representing the Delhi government, told the court that around 2 lakh workers are still in Delhi. “They are choosing not to go back. Less than 10,000 workers have expressed a desire to go back to their native places.”

The Uttar Pradesh government through senior advocate PS Narasimha said, “At no point of time did the state charge migrant labourers. The obligation of states is two-fold. We have to send those migrants back who were in UP as well. 104 special trains were organized to send back 1.35 lakh people.”

Kerala said it had about 434,000 migrants in the state in the beginning of lockdown, of which more than 100,000 have left for their homes while about 160,000 want to remain in Kerala and the rest want to go back to their home states.

Maharashtra has transported 11 lakh migrants.

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