Taking note of the ‘problems and miseries’ of the migrant workers stranded due to nationwide lockdown, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the centre and state to list steps taken by them.
The next hearing of the case will be done on Thursday.
The apex court has taken the suo motu cognizance of plight of the migrant labourers who are stranded in different parts of the country.
“We take suo motu cognizance of problems and miseries of migrant labourers who had been stranded in different parts of the country,” the apex court said.
Court says there have been lapses on part of Centre and State governments and immediate measures are required to be taken to provide travel, shelter and food to migrant labourers.
“The newspaper reports and the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on-foot and cycles from long distances,” court said.
They have also been complaining of not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded or in the way i.e. highways from which they proceeded on-foot, cycles or other modes of transport. In the present situation of lockdown in the entire country, this section of the society needs succor and help by the concerned governments, especially steps need to be taken by the government of India, state governments/Union Territories in this difficult situation to extend a helping hand to these migrant labourers,” it said.
The top court further said, “Although the Government of India and the State Governments have taken measures yet there have been inadequacies and certain lapses. We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation.”
It is a very significant step by the court in the direction as it has been quite reluctant to take up the issue of migrant workers.
On May 15, court had dismissed a petition that asked it to order the centre to provide food and water to the migrant workers.
When the petitioner Alakh Alok Srivastava had brought the incident of 16 migrant workers run over by a train, the court said, “How can anyone stop this when they sleep on railway tracks?”