Panic becoming bigger problem than coronavirus: SC on migrant workers issue

As thousands of migrant workers return to their countries of origin after being laid off due to the coronavirus shutdown, the Moday Supreme Court observed that panic and fear were becoming “a bigger problem than the coronavirus “, and requested a status report from the Center by Tuesday on the measures taken to prevent the exodus.

The court said it would not create more confusion by issuing instructions on what the government is already doing.

Hearing two separate petitions by videoconference, Chief Justice Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao said before issuing a direction that they would like to wait for the center’s status report.

LIPs, filed by lawyers Alakh Alok Srivastava and Rashmi Bansal, have asked for thousands of migrant workers leaving for their country, including food, water, medicine and adequate medical facilities. Originally after being homeless and unemployed due to 21- day coronavirus lockout.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Center, said that migration must be stopped to prevent the spread of the virus and that the Center and the states concerned have taken the necessary measures to deal with it.

Referring to various news, Srivastava, petitioner in person, said that there was a lack of cohesion and cooperation between states on the issue of labor migration. The Uttar Pradesh government initially provided buses for the movement of migrant workers for two days and now they have stopped the service, he added.

Responding to Mehta’s argument that the Center would like to file a status report on an affidavit on the actions taken, the bench said: “We will not be dealing with things that the government is already doing. We would like to wait for the report from the Center “.

Bansal, another petitioner in person, said that medical and security measures are necessary for these migrant workers. She also suggested that disinfectants can be sprayed on groups of migrant workers to disinfect them, and midday meal providers should be roped up to provide food.

Commenting on Bansal, the bench said, “You assume the government is doing nothing. It advises us on what to do. Let’s see what it does. Let them table a joint response on these two petitions.

Bansal said advisers could be deployed for these migrant workers, who are trying to leave the cities out of fear and panic.

“This fear and panic is a bigger problem than this virus,” observed the bench, adding, “We are not going to add to the confusion by issuing instructions that are already taken care of by the government.”

The bench released the questions for a new hearing on Tuesday.

Srivastava, in his plea, asked the Center to remedy the plight of thousands of migrant workers who, with their families, “walk on foot” to reach their homeland in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and solitary confinement. nationwide.

The advocacy also requested an instruction from the authorities to identify these stranded migrant workers and provide them with food, water, medicine and appropriate medical facilities.

“With the railways and buses suspended, many of these migrant workers walk for miles to reach their villages. Many are unable to cross state borders and are therefore stranded on the roads without food, water or shelter There is a large scale of human distress, “said his plea.

The separate pleadings, filed by lawyers Bansal and Anuj Gupta, argued that the “mass exodus” of migrant workers from cities to their villages could still spread the virus.

Advocacy also said that states should be invited to arrest migrants wherever they are and to allow their movement after their disinfection.

He said that instructions should be given to the authorities to make them aware of the measures taken by the government, including the free supply of food grains and other essential items through the PDS, and to streamline procedures to end the fear and chaos among these people.

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