HC asks Centre, Maha on details of special trains for migrants

Nagpur, May 15 (PTI)The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Centre and Maharashtra government to give details of special trains running across the country ferrying migrants and others stranded in the coronavirus-induced lockdown and till when these services would be operated.

Justice A R Borkar of the Nagpur bench of HC also directed the Union and state governments to clarify their stands on who will bear the ticket fare of persons traveling in these special trains.

The court was hearing a petition taken up suo motu (on its own) on the plight of migrants, daily wage labourers and other stranded persons traveling back to their native states on foot.

Advocate Deven Chauhan, who was appointed by the court to assist it, on Friday told the court that the special trains run by the railways was only till May 17.

The court then directed the railways to file an affidavit submitting details of special trains run from various parts of the country.

'The affidavit shall also state up to what date the special trains will ferry migrants and other stranded persons back to their native states,' Justice Borkar said.

The court was then informed that, on May 8, while hearing another petition, the principal bench of Bombay High Court had in its order noted the Union and state governments were to share the ticket fare.

The government pleader told the court the state government has released Rs 57 crore towards this expenditure.

The court then directed the Union and Maharashtra governments to state this in its affidavit and posted the matter for further hearing on May 19.

The court also directed the government and all district collectors, civic and district council authorities and police commissioners across the state to say if they have complied with HC's May 12 order by which special teams were to be formed to inspect and monitor highways as well as arrange travel for migrant workers and others till the state borders.