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INC member and former MLA from Haryana, Randeep Surjewala has moved a plea to intervene in the suo motu case registered by the Supreme Court last night over the migrant crisis that following the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. (Randeep Surjewala - IA - Migrant crisis case)
While urging that the top Court allow him to intervene in the matter, Sujrewala has submitted that he has several suggestions that may aid the Court in taking steps to alleviate the distress faced by migrant labourers across the country in the wake of the lockdown.
In this regard, the intervention application highlights the following issues and suggestions that the Central Government may implement to resolve the issues:
There is no nation-wide action plan qua the stranded migrant labourers, to identity and accurately tally the total number of migrant labourers who continue to be stranded. The Government of India needs to carry out an exercise at the District and Village level to prepare these lists immediately.
It is suggested that the Government of India may immediately set up reception centres and facilitation centres at District and Village level for receiving labourers and facilitating further travel of the labourers to their native districts/villages.
On the basis of information being provided by the mirgant labourers regarding the hardships faced and the facilities/ actions that helped them during their journey, the Government of India may formulate a nationwide action plan to address the issues of stranded migrants.
In view of the fact that stranded migrant labourers have sporadic access to food, medicine and shelter, and are presently dependent on largesse of private individuals for the same, the Government of India should immediately formulate a scheme to provide adequate food, medicine and shelter to the stranded migrant labourers.
Financial aid reliefs announced by the Central Government should be implemented on an urgent and immediate basis and a public announcement detailing the reliefs with timelines and step-wise procedure of release should be shared with the public and migrants.
The Government of India should formulate urgent and immediate schemes for providing gainful employment to the migrant labourers, with additional and specific schemes, which take into consideration the education of the migrant labourers’ children and the general well being of their family members.
The Government of India should immediately launch awareness campaigns for migrant workers to explain all benefits (through radio and other communication modes) being provided by the Government to alleviate their plight and struggles during the nationwide lockdown.
The intervention application has been drawn by Advocates Muhammad Ali Khan and Varun Chopra, settled by Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi and filed by Advocate Sunil Fernandes.
In this regard, the Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah has now issued notice to the Centre and all states and union territories, directing them to submit their responses to tackle this “urgent” situation.