The Bombay High Court has directed all district collectors, council authorities and police commissioners in Maharashtra to form special teams to monitor highways and arrange travel till the state border for migrant workers and others who are trying to walk back to their native places.
Justice Madhav Jamdar of the Nagpur bench of the high court was hearing a petition taken up by suo moto (on its own) on the plight of migrants, daily wage labourers and other stranded persons who are heading towards their home states on foot on highways and other roads.
The High Court on Tuesday said the special teams to be formed by the authorities shall inform either the district collector or the concerned police commissioner or superintendent of police about the number of stranded persons.
These authorities will then request the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to arrange for buses to ferry these persons to the state border.
Advocate Deven Chauhan, who was appointed by the court to assist it, submitted that certain points on highways should be marked as bus stands and that the MSRTC should be directed to make buses available at these stands.
He further sought a direction to all district collectors to erect temporary shelters with basic facilities like beds, fans and toilets for the migrants and others. He also demanded setting up of medical check up points.
The High Court noted that the lockdown imposed in view of the coronavirus pandemic has triggered mass movement of migrant workers and others who are trying to return to their native places as they are unable to sustain without jobs.
Justice Jamdar said while the government and civic authorities are sympathetic to the situation, but still due to unavailability of proper transport facilities thousands of migrants and workers have taken to walking back to their native places.
A special team shall accumulate all those persons who are walking on these roads to their native places at one place and then arrange for their travel till the state border, the High Court said.
The court has posted the matter for further hearing on May 15.
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