No Need for Migrants to Go Back to Hometown, Centre Tells SC, Warns of Serious Health Hazard

Ghughuti Bulletin

New Delhi: Even as the Maharashtra government pushes for the evacuation of migrant workers to their hometown soon, the Centre has submitted in the Supreme Court that there is “no necessity” for them to go back and that any such movement would “definitely cause a serious health hazard”.

In its latest status report, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said categorically: “There is no necessity for migration of workers to shift from place of their occupation to the place of their residence and rush back to their villages.”

According to the report, the workers’ daily needs are being taken care of wherever they are working and the daily needs of their family members were being taken care of at their respective villages.

The MHA added that migration of workers, on their own, defeats the very purpose of the preventive measures adopted by the Centre and would carry the risk of their carrying Covid-19 infection in rural India, which has so far largely remained safe from this disease.

“The country is dealing with an unprecedented situation and any lapse at any end by anyone may result in loss of precious human lives. This is a question of general public importance and any movement of migrant workers being permitted would definitely cause a serious health hazard which can even lead to a life threatening situation for many,” said the report.

The report, which will come up for a perusal and examination by the Supreme Court on Monday in a bunch of petitions on migrant workers, said the Centre and state governments are working jointly with the NGOs to ensure basic amenities to all the migrant workers.

Furnishing the statistics, the report said 37,978 relief camps have been set up by states and UTs with nearly 14.3 lakh persons being accommodated. In addition to this, 26,225 food camps have also been opened, giving food to nearly 1.34 crore persons. The report added nearly 16.5 lakh workers have also been given shelter and food by their respective employers.

The issue of migrant workers and their return, notably, is going to be the bone of contention when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets all chief ministers on Monday through video-conferencing. The meeting might witness some chief ministers conveying their views that migrant workers should be sent back through special arrangements.

A day ago, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray assured evacuation of migrant labourers to their hometown soon. “I assure the migrant labourers that I am talking to the Centre and whatever is possible will be done soon. One thing is sure that trains are not running because we don’t want crowd, or else we will have to impose restrictions,” said the Chief Minister. Some more CMs share his views.

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