The Supreme Court on Friday said it intends to give 15 days to the Centre and states for transporting all stranded migrant labourers to their native places, commencing hearing on their plight during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
The Supreme Court was hearing in suo motu PIL over the plight of migrant workers.
The court said, “What we intend to do is we will give you and the states 15 days’ time to transport all migrants. All states will bring on record how they will provide employment and other kind of relief. There should be registration of the migrants.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the government has transported an approximate of 1 crore migrant labourers so far.
“By road 41 lakh migrant labourers have been transported and 57 lakhs by train,” he said.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who was representing the Delhi government, told the court that around 2 lakh workers are still in Delhi. He said, “They are choosing not to go back. Less than 10,000 workers have expressed desire to go back to their native places”.
The Uttar Pradesh government also made a similar statement in the court.
Senior advocate PS Narasimha, who was appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, said, “At no point of time did the state charge the migrant labourers. Obligation of states is two-fold. We have to send those migrants back who were in UP as well. 104 special trains were organized to send back 1.35 lakh people.”
The UP government also said, “There are no persons who want to leave. People who are original residents of UP are working in different parts of the country. 5.50 lakhs migrant labourers were brought from Delhi borders and buses did more than 10,000 trips.”
“1,664 Shramik Special trains were organised in an extraordinary measure and 21.69 lakh people were brought back to the state,” the government has said.