The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that stranded migrant workers will not be charged train or bus fares for their journey back home to their villages.
Shelter, food and water should be provided by the originating State at notified places to workers waiting for their transport home.
During train journey, railways would be in charge of providing them nourishment. Similarly, States through which they passed by buses would take care of their food and water.
The court ordered the States to set up help booth.
Besides these directions, court also seked details from the government on the number of stranded workers and plans for their registration and transportation.
Uniform policy needed
The court questioned why certain States had turned away migrant workers from their borders. There was need for a policy between the Centre and the States for the migrant crisis.
One crore migrant workers have been transported home. There were also many who had decided to stay back. The States would be better suited to provide more details about them.
Some isolated incidents were being highlighted to portray the government’s efforts in bad light. Migrant workers were stopped from going home in the initial days of the lockdown to arrest the spread of the virus.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal said migrant workers left government relief camps to walk home because of lack of minimum standards of food, water and shelter.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising said only 3% of the trains were being used now and there were four crore migrant workers waiting to go home.