New Delhi: Taking cognisance of the miseries of migrant workers, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said there have been “inadequacies and certain lapses” by the Centre and the states, and asked them to provide transport, food and shelter immediately free of cost.
Referring to various media reports showing the “unfortunate and miserable conditions” of migrant labourers walking on foot and cycling long distances after the lockdown, the top court issued notices to the Centre, the states and Union territories and sought their replies by May 28.
Although the Centre and the states have taken measures to provide relief to the migrants, the court said there have been “inadequacies and certain lapses”. Effective concentrated efforts are now required to redeem the situation, it added.
“The adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provided by the Centre and state governments free of costs,” said the court which took the suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the situation.
The order by the court came amid criticism by activists and lawyers that the judiciary was not doing enough in tackling the migrants crisis after the coronavirus lockdown and in making the executive accountable. The national lockdown was imposed on March 25 leading to job losses and forcing lakhs of migrant workers to head to their faraway native states.