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Supreme Court directs states to bear migrants' travel fare; Railways to provide food during journey

Supreme Court directed the state governments to provide food to migrants until they are transported back to their native states.

May 28, 2020 / 06:05 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the Centre on the plight of migrant workers. It also directed the central government to not charge train, bus fares from migrant workers.

The Supreme Court said, “We have noticed several lapses in registration, registration and availability of food and shelter for migrant workers."

"Even after registration, they have to wait for a long time to be transported back. Hence, many end up walking to their villages," the top court said.

Passing interim directions, the apex court directed the Centre to not charge migrants for trains and buses. "Train fare must be shared by states," the court said.

SC further directed the state governments to provide food to migrants until they are transported back to their states. "State governments must publicise and notify places where the distribution of food will take place."

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“Railways will provide food and water to migrant workers during the journey and state governments will oversee the registration of migrant workers for Shramik Special trains to ensure that they are transported at the earliest,” the SC said.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said, "Migrant workers found walking on the roads must be shifted to shelter homes where food and other facilities are being provided."

Directing Railways to issue trains when asked for, the court said, “Railways must provide trains for movement of migrant workers as and when asked by the states. Moreover, all details regarding the number of migrants being transported, arrangements for food and shelter must be brought on record.”

The matter will be next heard on June 5.

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first published: May 28, 2020 06:05 pm

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