The Maharashtra government is likely to submit a reply today in the Bombay high court listing out steps that it has taken so far to help and rehabilitate ‘drought refugees’ or people who have migrated from the drought-affected areas in the state to Mumbai and other cities.
On Monday, the HC had directed the government to submit details of the total number of people who have migrated from drought-affected areas in the state to other parts in Maharashtra, and the steps that it has taken so far to help them.
The bench also directed the state government’s counsel to bring the officials in charge of the task before the court on June 8, the next date of hearing.
The bench was hearing a suo moto plea on the plight of drought refugees. In April this year, a bench led by chief justice DH Waghela had taken cognisance of a news report on the plight of drought refugees who had migrated from Nanded to Mumbai and had no access to food and drinking water, and had no means to secure a roof over their heads in the city.
The report had claimed that almost every year, countless such people come from the drought-affected areas in the state to Mumbai and neighbouring cities. However, despite there being a constitutional requirement for the state to extend help to such people, they were left to fend for themselves.
The state government had earlier said that it does not know the exact number of people who have migrated to Mumbai and adjoining areas from the drought-affected districts.