Plea in SC for shelter, food, free transportation to migrant workers in view of death of 16 in Maha

New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking a direction to the Centre to ask all District Magistrates in the country to identify stranded migrant workers and provide shelter, food to them before ensuring their free transportation to native places in view of the early morning's tragic incident at Aurangabad in Maharashtra in which 16 such workers were mowed down by a goods train.

The migrant workers were returning to Madhya Pradesh and had slept on railway tracks.

The interim application, filed in a disposed PIL, has also referred to the earlier statements made by the Centre before the apex court saying that it was told that “there was no person walking on the roads in an attempt to reach his/her home towns/villages” and moreover the states and UTs will provide adequate facilities for migrant labourers.

Referring to the tragic incident, lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava, in the plea, said, “issue appropriate direction to Union of India to show cause as to despite the Orders…passed by this court in.., why no concrete action has been taken to avert the heart wrenching train accident, which took place at Gadhejalgaon village in Aurangabad District on May 08 at about 5.30 AM (Morning) in which at least sixteen (16) migrant workers, who were walking on foot, have been Killed.” It sought a direction to the Centre to ask all district collectors to “immediately identify such moving/stranded migrant workers in their respective Districts, immediately shift them to the nearest shelter homes/camps, provide them sufficient food, water, medicines and counselling etc. and upon proper medical examination, ensure to provide free transportation to them to their respective native villages, with utmost dignity”.

The plea said the deceased labourers belonged to Shahdol and Umaria Districts of Madhya Pradesh and were walking from Jalna in Maharashtra to Aurangabad Railway Station to board trains to reach hometowns.

After walking for several kilometers, they decided to take rest on the railway tracks between Satana and Karmad and were mowed down by a goods train, it said.

Earlier, the top court had disposed the PIL seeking migrant workers’ welfare during the pandemic and consequential lockdown saying that the Centre and states are taking appropriate steps to provide relief to migrant workers. PTI SJK ABA MNL MNL RKS RKS