Migrant labourers in National Capital Region must be given dry ration, transport, cooked food: SC
Order was passed on an urgent plea by Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj and Jagdeep Chhokar in suo motu case initiated by SC last year to deal with migrant labourer crisis during the national lockdown
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide dry ration, adequate transport and set up community kitchens for benefit of the migrant labourers in National Capital Region, Bar & Bench reported.
The two-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah issued the following directions in this regard:
1) Dry ration be provided to migrant workers in National Capital Region under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme or any other scheme by the Union of India, NCT of Delhi, state of UP and state of Haryana utilising the Public Distribution System prevalent in each state with effect from May, 2021.
(2) NCT of Delhi, state of UP and state of Haryana (for the districts included in the NCR) shall ensure that adequate transport is provided to stranded migrant labourers (in the National Capital Region) who want to return home.
Central government was also asked to consider issuing necessary instructions to Ministry of Railways to take necessary and adequate measures to cater to the need of migrant labourers.
(3) NCT of Delhi, state of UP and state of Haryana (for the districts included in the NCR) have been directed to open community kitchens at
well-advertised places (in the National Capital Region) to provde two meals a day to stranded migrant labourers.
Further, the court directed the Central government as well as the Government of state of NCT of Delhi, state of UP and state of Haryana (for the districts included in the NCR) to file a reply suggesting means and measures by which they shall ameliorate miseries of stranded migrant labourers.
The order was passed on an application by activists Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj and Jagdeep Chhokar, who had moved an urgent application before the Supreme Court seeking directions to ensure that migrant workers are not deprived of ration and food security and are able to travel back to their homes at nominal cost.
The application was filed in the suo motu case initiated by the top court last year to deal with migrant labourer crisis during the national lockdown.
The applicants contended that even though states have been imposing decentralised COVID-19 curfews and lockdowns more cautiously this year, "they have offered little welfare support to working classes and migrants whose livelihoods are at sea once again."
"This has triggered a second exodus of migrant workers who are flocking train and bus terminals in urban centres in a bid to get back home," the application stated.
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