Supreme Court directions regarding migrant laborers travel
- The Supreme Court today ordered that stranded migrant workers not be charged for train or bus tickets for their return to their village.
- These fares would be pooled between the State of origin of trip and the State of destination.
- The court also declared that the state of origin would provide shelter, food and water in the notified places to workers waiting for their transport to return home.
- In addition to these interim directions, during a videoconference hearing of almost three hours, the court also asked the government for details on the number of workers stranded, and their plans for registration and transportation.
- A hearing is scheduled for June 5.
In particular, for the first time during this national emergency triggered by Covid-19, the court questioned the government about its “failures” to provide adequate food, shelter and transportation for thousands of migrant workers. The Center considered that the workers were “encouraged locally” to return on foot.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta accused “prophets of doom” and “intellectuals in the wheelchair” of causing problems and undermined the country’s resolve to fight the pandemic. He said the court should not be allowed to become a political platform.
As of the 65th day of closure, the total number of coronavirus cases in India was 1.60,382 and the death toll exceeded 4,565. Karnataka has banned people from five states; Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Meanwhile, 827 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, bringing the state total to 19372.
About 90,000 hectares in 20 districts of Rajasthan have been affected by a locust invasion, some 4,000 hectares of crops in Sri Ganganagar and 100 hectares in Nagaur have been destroyed. The Department of Agriculture conducted locust control operations on 67,000 hectares. Lobsters can travel up to 150 km per day at a speed of 15 to 20 km per hour. As there are no permanent crops in the fields, they target the trees and other plants available.
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