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Publicise list of shelters for migrant workers in TN: PIL

Social Issues

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

: The Madras High Court on

Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to accommodate stranded migrant workers in shelters, homes and other places before transporting them to their home states.

Passing interim orders on a PIL of an advocate Thilakraj, the court also ordered the state government topublish the list of identified shelters by Wednesday itself.

A Division Bench of Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice Anita Sumanth, in its order, said, "This court can take judicial notice of the fact that on arterial roads, the migrant workers are exhibiting their anxiety to reach a railway station and not maintaining the social distancing and they do not possess masks."

Therefore, the bench said, the immediate concern of the state government is to accommodate them in homes/identified places and it shall be made available in the public domain by today itself.

The bench heard the submission of the Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan for the Centre and pleader for the Tamil Nadu government Jayaprakash Narayan.

The petitioner submitted that though some standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the form of various administrative instructions have been put in place to deal with the issue, there are other issues yet to be addressed by the Central and state governments.

Elaborating on the issues, he said there was no list of shelters wherein migrant workers can be accommodated and registration of such workers for transport trough trains to their home States though available in the website, the language used for uploading the information is only in English and not in the languages such as Hindi, Odiya, Bengali or Bojpuri.

The petitioner suggested better coordination between the state government and the Ministry of Railways as to the schedule of trains originating from Chennai to various states for transporting the workers.

On this, the bench issued notice to the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government and ask them to reply by May 26.

The judges directed that information on the registered migrants, the departure time of the trains to various states shall also be made available in the websites of the Ministry of Railways as well as the Revenue and Disaster Management of the government of Tamil Nadu.

To this, the Centre and state government agreed and have given an undertaking in this regard.

The state government pleader submitted that as per the order of the Union Home Ministry, a GO was passed by the state government and also appointed Dr Atulya Mishra, Additional Chief Secretary to government, Revenue Disaster Management Department, as the nodal officer for the movement of the migrant workers.

Besides, a team of officers has also been constituted to work with the nodal officer and the Standard Operating Procedure is going on smoothly.

Assistant Solicitor General of India G Rajagopalan, representing the Centre, submitted that the Ministry of Railways is operating a number of Shramik Special trains to transport the migrant workers and though some of the States are refusing to permit the entry for the migrant workers, it is for the state government concerned to coordinate with the other states and as and when the request is made, the Ministry of Railways is ready to provide the special trains.

The bench, passing the interim order, posted the matter for further hearing to May 26.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 21:32 IST