Even as the Maharashtra government on Tuesday reiterated that it had no pending demands for Shramik Special trains, a trade union informed the Bombay High Court that several migrants were still awaiting a passage to their home states, especially West Bengal.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni on Tuesday told a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta that since Friday, June 5, only three Shramik Special trains had departed from Maharashtra.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Centre of Indian Trade Unions that raised concerns about the plight of migrant workers who were stranded amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the petitioner, migrant workers, who had submitted applications for leaving Maharashtra in Shramik Special trains or buses, were left in dark about the status of their applications.
The petitioner's advocates Gayatri Singh and Ronita Bhattacharya Bector on Tuesday told the court that the government's claim that there was no pending demand for special trains was wrong, as there were still many workers, especially from West Bengal, who are waiting to leave the state.
They pointed out a list of migrant workers who were unable to board trains that left Maharashtra earlier.
The advocates also informed the court that the process of applying for Shramik Special trains in the state was complicated and suggested that the procedure be simplified.
Posting the matter for further hearing on June 12, the court directed the state government to consider the suggestions made by the petitioner and also update the court on the demand for Shramik trains.