SC mulls granting 15 days to Centre, states for transporting migrant workers, reserves order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday said it intends to give 15 days to the Centre and states for transporting all stranded migrant workers to their native places and will pronounce its order on June 9 on the issue including their registration and employment opportunities.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah took note of the submissions of the Centre and state governments on steps taken so far to mitigate the miseries of the migrant workers stranded across the country during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The bench, hearing the matter via video conferencing, said it intends to give 15 days to the Centre and all the state to transport the migrant workers and to develop a mechanism for their registration and providing them employment opportunities.

The top court was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that till June 3, over 4,200 Shramik Special’ trains have been deployed to transport migrant workers to their native places.

Mehta said that till now over one crore migrant workers have been transported to their destinations through trains and buses and most of the trains ended up in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

He said state governments can tell as to how many more migrant workers need to be shifted and how many trains are required for that purpose.

The Solicitor General assured the bench that necessary trains are being made available to the concerned States and it would be provided in future as well, when demands are raised.

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.

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