The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that in 578 districts of the country, a solid network of state governments and Union Territories along with NGOs is operational to implement relief measures for the people, including migrant workers, affected by the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Various governments have given food to over 54 lakh people in addition to over 30 lakh others served by NGOs across the country.
The Centre submitted a status report in response to a PIL filed by activists Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj on the plight of migrant workers after the nationwide lockdown was announced.
The Centre submitted the facts in a chart, saying it is duty-bound to fully satisfy the apex court on various issues concerning migrant workers.
According to the report, the number of workers given shelter and food by employers/industry where they were working is 15, 05107. The number of persons given food by the governments is 54, 15458, and the NGOs in various governments provided food to 30,11051 persons.
The total number of persons housed in relief camps is 63, 1119 by various governments. The number of such persons looked after by NGOs is 40, 5908. The total number of food camps organized by various state governments is 7,848 and by NGOs 9,473. The number of active relief camps and shelters run by various governments is 22,567 and by NGOs 3,909.
The status report said in Kerala, the number of persons in relief camps and shelters is 302,016, which is the highest among states and UTs, followed by Uttar Pradesh with just over one lakh people.
The Haryana government has provided food for over 22 lakh persons followed by Delhi, which has provided food for over 12 Lakh persons. Over 3 lakh persons in Maharashtra were given shelter and food by employers/industry. This is followed by Gujarat (2.82 Lakh workers) and Haryana (over 2 lakh workers).
The Centre criticised Mander’s plea, saying “the petitioner, in complete ignorance of a huge exercise going on by the Central government as well as the state governments, resorted to giving merely vague assertions and piecemeal suggestions without any factual foundation,” said the Centre.
The Centre said all state governments and UTs are doing their best, strategizing all resources to come out of the unprecedented global crisis.
“It should be pointed that when the country is facing such an unprecedented crisis, filing of such petitions and attempting to sit in appeal over all actions taken by the respective governments by a few individual needs to be discouraged as it diverts energy and attention of the statutory functionaries”, said the Centre in the report.