New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre and state governments to facilitate the transportation of stranded migrant workers to their native places within 15 days. “We propose 15 days time so that states can be permitted to effectuate the completion of transport”, said a three-judge bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah.Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown Update: Covid-19 Surveillance Guidelines Extended Till August 16, More Curbs Announced | Full Guidelines
Representing the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, stated that the railways has run 4,228 special ‘Shramik’ trains till June 3 and ferried around 57 lakh people home. Also Read - Centre Urges States to Impose Lockdown-like Restrictions in Districts Reporting Positivity Rate Above 10%
He said 41 lakh others have gone home by road, taking the total migrants who have left the cities to nearly one crore. He informed that court that the maximum numbers of trains have gone to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Also Read - Odisha Relaxes Lockdown Guidelines From Aug 1, Allows Shops to Open Till 8 PM | Details Here
Former Solicitor General and senior Supreme Court lawyer Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Bihar, told the court that around 28 lakh people have returned to Bihar. “Govt of Bihar is taking all steps for providing them employment”, he stated further.
Senior lawyer P Narasimha, representing the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh govermment told the court that the state is not charging the labourers at any point of time. “1664 shramik special trains were organised in an extraordinary measure and 21.69 lakhs people were brought back”, Narasimha told the SC.
The development comes days after the top court took took suo motu cognizance of the problems and the miseries of migrant labourers and issued notice to the Centre, states and Union Territories seeking their replies on the steps taken to redeem the situation.