New Delhi: Days after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the misery of migrant labourers and sought a reply from the Centre, the government on Saturday filed an affidavit mentioning all the steps taken by it to mitigate the suffering of the migrants amid the COVID-19 crisis. Also Read - 'Ensure Complete Compliance', Supreme Court Grants One More Month to Govt For Giving Permanent Commission To Women Officers in Army
In the affidavit, the Centre stated that it has, with the support of NHAI, facilitated shifting of migrants, who were found walking on roads by providing them requisite transport to nearest railway stations. Also Read - SC Draws up Yogi Govt on Over 50 Girls Found COVID +ve in Kanpur Shelter Home, Asks to Report by July 10
“SC was fully satisfied the way Centre has acted & discharged its obligations in the best interest of citizens most scientifically & based on collective decisions taken by Executive at Centre & state level in consultation & advise of experts in each field,” the Centre said. Also Read - SC Junks Plea on 'Favouritism' by Registry, Imposes Rs 100 as Cost
The Centre also informed the court that whenever necessary, the migrants were provided with food, drinking water, medicines, clothes, slippers and other essentials free of cost, depending upon the requirement.
Further, it told the top court that state governments and railways provide food, water free of cost. “Till June 1, railways served 1.63 crore meals & over 2.10 crores packaged drinking water bottles, apart from services provided by respective state governments,” the Central government said supporting its case.
“The Central govt, state governments, all frontline workers and the entire nation have responded to and dealt with this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic on war footing taking care of every aspect of life,” the Centre asserted.
On Friday, the apex court had 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”, a three-judge bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah had said.