[Migrant crisis] Provide food, basic amenities for migrant workers, make registration process for travel back home simpler: Telangana HC
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[Migrant crisis] Provide food, basic amenities for migrant workers, make registration process for travel back home simpler: Telangana HC

Rintu Mariam Biju

From providing nutritious food to ensuring that their travel back home is free, the Telangana High Court on Tuesday issued a slew of directions while dealing PILs concerning the plight of stranded migrant workers in brick kilns in the State.

The lead petitioner, S Jeevan Kumar of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) had pointed out that there were about 1.5 lakhs of migrants who had been abandoned by contractors in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Medchal.

The extensive set of directions passed by a Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice R SChauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy in response to various concerns include the following,

  • Deputy Commissioners, Labour are directed to inspect the Brick Kilns functioning within their jurisdiction. They are directed to find out the number of workers still employed and number of persons who wish to go back to their respective states.

  • Arrangements for transportation are to be made for such workers. The Reports of the Deputy Commissioners to be submitted to Principal Secretary, Labour immediately.

  • The Labour Department to consider the number of workers who are required to be transported out of state in coordination with other departments and ensure that they are comfortably housed in shelter homes.

  • It shall be the duty of the State Government to ensure that the brick kiln workers along with migrant workers, housed in Secunderabad and any other areas of the State, are provided with food, water, shelter and that their hygiene and that their medical requirements are met with.

  • The State Government to also consider the use of RTC buses to transport workers from the State to their home states.

  • Such workers are to be transported free of charge, in line with the Supreme Court judgment.

  • The State to coordinate with the Railway department and request for more numbers of Shramik trains, and if that is not possible, state government to make a request to attach four bogeys in the special trains already plying migrant workers so that more workers may be accommodated.

  • The State is directed to ensure that the migrant workers are brought to convenient places such as Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts are housed with adequate arrangements.

  • The State shall be free to consider whether the workers working in the brick kilns should be permitted to leave the state from the nearest Train station or Bus station from where they are working.

  • The State to also inform the neighbouring states and coordinate with them with regard to the movement of the migrant workers on the buses, and their arrival at the border check-posts.

  • The State is to ensure that medical facilities are provided in shelter homes housing pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and elderly persons. Nutritious food is also to be provided to these groups on a daily basis.

  • The State government shall evolve a simpler process for registration and data collection for the transportation of such workers considering the fact that most of them are illiterate and non-Telugu speakers.

  • The State Government to evolve a comprehensive policy to deal with the migrant workers, in the present as well as in the future in order to be prepared when a disaster strikes the state or the entire nation unannounced.

The Bench was prompted to pass these directions on the basis of various suggestions put forth by Advocate Vasudha Nagaraj, appearing for the petitioners and Court commissioner, Advocate Pavin Kumar.

Nagaraj had pointed out to the Court that the number of Shramik trains are now being reduced. However, there still remained many migrant workers who wished to back to their home towns.

It was also informed that, despite the Supreme Court's directions, the workers were not still allowed to board these government-run special trains without paying up ticket fares. This had caused a lot of havoc, as the workers are currently penniless.

Issues such as lack of food and housing facilities for these workers and their kin were also highlighted.

Court commissioner, Kumar, had submitted that the State Government should be directed to formulate a comprehensive policy pertaining to the upkeep, welfare and transportation of these workers.

At this juncture, he further apprised the Court that the current registration for transportation was too cumbersome"for the migrant workers as most of them were non-Telugu speakers apart from those who were illiterate.

After considering these submissions, the Court on Tuesday also directed Advocate General BS Prasad to submit a report about the steps taken by the Government in implementing the directions issued on or before June 8.

The matter will be next heard June 9.

Read the order here:

Telangana HC order - Migrant Workers Crisis.pdf
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