The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 9 June, slammed the Maharashtra government over the issue of migrant crisis and asked it to make “concentrated efforts” to identify the migrant workers who were still stranded in the state and were willing to return to their native places.
Citing huge lapses in the state government’s position on the issues of migrant workers, the apex court asked Maharashtra to be more vigilant of the issues on ground.
“The state Supervisory Committee, District Supervisory Committee and its officials should ensure that all migrant labourers, who are willing to go to their native place, should be identified... provide them food and shelter and that no complaint is received of not providing facility of journey or food from the stranded migrant labourers,” a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah said, reported IANS.
The observation from the apex court came in the judgment it delivered on the plight of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus outbreak.
“There are huge lapses on the part of the state authorities in implementing state policies and decisions and most of the claims are only on paper causing great miseries and hardship to the migrant workers,” the bench said, reported NDTV.
“The government should publicise and announce the places i.e police stations or any other suitable place for identifying/registering the workers, who have not yet been provided any train or bus journey,” said the bench.
The state government counsel had told the apex court that about 5 lakh migrants have already been sent home for free and 37,000 more people are still waiting to return.
He submitted that Maharashtra has requested for only one train from the railways, the registration of migrant workers is being done and a list prepared by the state and most of the labourers have been shifted to relief shelters where they are waiting for their turn to board the buses and trains, IANS reported.
“We may notice, at this stage, that although in the affidavit, the state claims that it is providing food and shelter to migrant workers and list of entire workers is prepared, such claim has been refuted in different affidavits and materials brought on the record by intervenors and various individuals,” the bench rebutted.
The bench observed that it has been claimed that there is no proper arrangement of food to the migrant labourers nor is there any simple manner of registration for the workers.
(With inputs from IANS and NDTV.)