No travel expenses for migrants; states and railways to pay for food: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a series of orders to states and the railways to bear the travel expenses for migrant workers when they board Shramik special trains or buses. The Apex Court has further instructed state governments to arrange for food and water for the laborers within their jurisdictions. The order elaborates that the states shall provide the stranded migrants with food and water at the railway station or the terminal while Indian Railways are entrusted with the task of making available meals and water during their journey to their destinations.
The Court also stated that numerous errors have been observed in transportation, ticket registration and the provision of food and water to the migrant workers. In addition, the orders said that workers are being made to wait for long periods of time to acquire a mode of transportation for a way back home, which has led to many walking all the way to their natives.
The Court has further issued orders to state governments to make sure registration of migrant workers is ensured so that they can be sent back home as early as possible. The orders from the Apex Court also added that migrant workers found walking on the roads need to be escorted to shelter homes where they must be provided with food and other necessities.
Migrant laborers across the country have undergone an arduous time over the course of the past two months ever since the lockdown was imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 25 in order to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown, laborers have been cut short of any means of reaching their homes other than walking hundreds of miles in the sweltering summer.
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