15 days enough time for states to send migrant workers home: Supreme Court
The hearing comes days after the top court took suo moto cognisance of the issue and passed several orders to help migrants reach home.Updated: Jun 05, 2020 16:00 IST
Fifteen days should be enough time for states to send migrant workers - stranded in cities across the country since the imposition of nationwide lockdown - home, the Supreme Court said on Friday. The top court also asked all states to create employment opportunities for migrants returning home.
The hearing comes days after the top court took suo moto cognisance of the issue and passed several orders to facilitate migrants’ return home.
“We propose 15 days’ time so that states can be permitted to effectuate the completion of transport,” said the top court.
The Centre said over 42,00 Shramik Specials have been run till June 3 to transport 1 crore migrant workers to their homes across the country.
The Centre told the top court that an investigation into instances of deaths of migrant workers aboard the special trains has revealed that none died on account of lack of food, water or medicines. Those who died were having co-morbidities or suffered heart attack, Mehta told the court.
Migrant workers, many left jobless and homeless after their workplaces or work sites shut during the ongoing lockdown imposed on March 25 to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease, have struggled to get home.
Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Bihar government, told the apex court that around 28 lakh people have returned to the state and that employment opportunities are being worked out for them. “The government of Bihar is taking all steps for providing them employment,” he said.
The court asked Rajasthan to list out how many more migrant workers want to go back home.”There are not many people. Please give 15 days to send everyone home,” said Manish Singhvi, representing the government of Rajasthan.
In an earlier hearing, the court issued a seven-point interim order that said it was the job of the state to provide migrant workers food and transport and that they cannot be charged for their travel. The court also remarked that no state can refuse to take back migrant workers.