The Union Home Secretary, Sh. Ajay Bhalla, wrote to the Chiref Secretaries of all States urging them to ensure migrant workers are not walking on roads and railway tracks after their movement has been facilitated by the Government.
Now that 'Shramik' trains and special buses have been deployed by the Centre to cater to the transportation need of migrant workers, the onus of implementing the Government's decision lies with States and UTs, said the Home Secretary in a letter sent on Friday night.
"As you are aware, Government has allowed the movement of migrant workers by buses and 'Shramik' special trains to enable them to travel to their native places. It is now the responsibility of all States and Union Territories to ensure that movement of stranded migrant workers who are willing to go to their Home States is facilitated."
"States/UTs should widely disseminate the arrangements for travel, in special buses/'Shramik" special train amongst the migrant workers and persuade/counsel them that they should not be walking when they can travel in buses/trains", wrote Ajay Bhalla in his letter.
It is further informed that the Railway Ministry, due to the cooperation of the States/UTs, has been able to ensure that more than 100 'Shramik' trains are operational daily, and is further in a position to arrange additional trains as per requirement. In this light, State Chief Secretaries have been urged to ensure migrant workers do not take to walking on roads or railway tracks in an attempt to reach home, especially since the same is being facilitated by the Rail Ministry.
This concern was raised as movement of migrant workers is still noticeable wherein they have been seen on roads, railway tracks and travelling in trucks across different parts of the country. Citing a letter written by the MHA on May 11, it is stated that migrant workers continue to be on the move despite such an order.
"In the letter, the situation of migrant workers walking on the roads and on railway tracks was highlighted and it was advised that in case they are found in such condition, they should be appropriately counselled, taken to nearby shelters, and provided with food, water, etc. till such time they are facilitated to board the 'Sharmik' special trains or buses to their native places. However, movement of migrant workers walking on roads, railway tracks and traveling in trucks is still being noticed in different parts of the country", conveyed the Home Secretary.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a plea seeking relief for migrants walking on road.
"How can we stop them from walking? It is impossible for this Court to monitor who is walking and who is not walking?", the bench orally observed while dismissing an application seeking urgent directions to all DMs across India to identify walking labourers and to ensure that they reach their native places, free of cost and in a dignified manner
Union Home Secretary writes to Chief Secretaries of all states urging them to ensure that there is no movement of migrant workers walking on roads and railways as their movement is facilitated through 'Shramik' trains and special buses.#Migrants #MigrantsOnTheRoad @HMOIndia pic.twitter.com/KkMPdQPQRJ— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) May 15, 2020
Union Home Secretary writes to Chief Secretaries of all states urging them to ensure that there is no movement of migrant workers walking on roads and railways as their movement is facilitated through 'Shramik' trains and special buses.#Migrants #MigrantsOnTheRoad @HMOIndia pic.twitter.com/KkMPdQPQRJ