SC mulls granting 15 days to govt to transport stranded migrants

The decision was taken days after a hearing on the migrants' plight due to the COVID-19 lockdown was taken up by the Supreme Court

Shramik Special
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court bench that till June 3, over 4,200 Shramik Special trains have been deployed to transport migrant workers to their native places. Photo: PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday (June 5) said it plans to give 15 days to the Centre and states for transporting all stranded migrant workers to their native places.

“What we intend to do is, we will give you and the states 15 days to transport all migrants. All states bring on record how they will provide employment and other kinds of relief. There should be registration of migrants,” the Supreme Court bench said.

The decision was taken days after a hearing on the migrants’ plight due to the COVID-19 lockdown was taken up by the Supreme Court.

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah that over 4,200 Shramik Special trains have been deployed till June 3 to transport migrant workers to their native places.

He also said more than 41 lakh migrants had travelled by road, and that around 1 crore stranded migrants in Delhi were left now.

Related news | Gurugram landlords in a fix as migrants ‘flee’ after locking rooms, dodging rent

Mehta said that till now over one crore migrant workers have been transported to their destinations, and that most of the trains ended up in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. He added that state governments could confirm how many more migrant workers needed to be shifted and how many trains were required for that purpose.

Meanwhile, Advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the migrants, said the registration system is not working, leaving thousands of migrant workers unable to register for trains and go home. “Two high courts have made observations on the registration system. It needs to be simplified,” NDTV quoted Gonsalves as saying.

On May 28, the top court had directed that the migrant workers wanting to return to their home states will not be charged train or bus fares and those stranded across the country will be provided food free of cost by the authorities concerned.

(With inputs from agencies)

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