New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to all District Magistrates (DMs) across the country to conduct daily inspection of shelter homes, where migrant workers’ have been housed amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The application filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava contended that Centre should direct DMs to supervise the availability of food, drinking water, medical aid and proper counselling to the people in the shelter homes till the end of the lockdown.
“Such a large scale migration, although intra-state, defeats the purpose of the present lockdown and also violates the various directions issued by the Centre. Furthermore, it may amount to a bad precedent, as it may instill feelings of resentment in the minds of other stranded migrant labourers of other states, who are unable to go to their native villages during lockdown”, said the plea.
The application was filed by the advocate in his pending petition where he raised critical issues connected with large scale migration.
The application also cited a reported decision by the Maharashtra government on April 19 to allow 1.31 lakh sugarcane workers to move to their native villages. Though it is intra-state, the decision will set a bad precedent and the permission should not be given, contended Srivastava.
He further submitted that permission to move migrant workers across the country would require mass testing, and in the backdrop of shortage of testing kits, this may become a big issue and defeat the purpose of the lockdown. The application sought urgent interim directions to ensure the rights of migrant workers are safeguarded and basic essentials such as food, water, shelter and medical aid are provided to them during the nationwide lockdown.
Srivastava also highlighted apex court order which directed authorities and police across the states to take necessary steps for ensuring welfare activities for migrant workers.