Supreme Court on Thursday directed the states to provide free food and shelter to the stranded migrant workers in the various parts of the country amid coronavirus lockdown.
A three-judge bench headed by the Justice Ashok Bhushan stated that no fare either by train or bus shall be charged from any migrant workers, adding that the railway fare shall be shared by the states as per the arrangement.
It also stated that the migrant workers who found on the highways or roads shall be taken care of by the state and UTs concerned. They shall be provided transport to the destination and all the facilities, including food and water, should be provided to them. The receiving state will be responsible to provide transport, health screening, and other facilities at free of cost, the top court said in a statement.
The Bench, including Justice SK Kaul and Justice MR Shah, took suo moto cognizance of the migrant labourers and asked the Centre, states and UTs to come out with measures to deal with the unfolding crisis.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh welcomed the order of the Supreme Court. Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Welcome Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order on charging no fares from migrant workers, providing them with food & ensuring they don’t travel by foot. I am happy that Punjab has been following these as a mandate. Let’s do our best to help the needy amidst unprecedented Covid-19 crisis.”