Various state governments on Friday apprised the Supreme Court on the status of migrant workers. Two worst-hit Covid-19 states -- Gujarat and Maharashtra -- told the apex court that nearly 31 lakh migrants have left so far.
State governments' counsel one after the other, updated the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.R. Shah on the latest figures on the movement of migrant workers.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Gujarat, informed the bench that 20.5 lakh migrants have been already transported back to their home states and nearly 2 lakh migrants are remaining in the state. Hit badly by Covid-19 crisis, Gujarat has reported 18,584 confirmed Covid-19 cases so far while 1,155 people have succumbed to the viral infection, and the state has a very high mortality rate.
The counsel appearing for Maharashtra informed the apex court that 11 lakh migrants have left and nearly 38,000 are remaining. Maharashtra has 80,229 Covid-19 positive cases, as on Friday, and 2,849 deaths, and is the state with the highest mortality figures. India has a total 2.26 lakh cases and 6,348 deaths have been reported so far.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that so far 802 trains have been operated from Maharashtra for this purpose.
The bench was hearing the matter on the plight of migrant labourers where it had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance and sought replies from state governments and the Centre.
The Centre informed the top court that around one crore migrant workers have returned to their home state -- around 41 lakh by road transport and 57 lakh by train.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Bihar, said the state has received 28 lakh migrants so far, and it has already done skill mapping for nearly 10 lakh. The Uttar Pradesh counsel said the state has received 21.69 lakh migrants through 1,664 Shramik trains.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for Delhi government, told the top court that nearly 2 lakh workers are in the capital and only around 10,000 are willing to return to their native state.
Senior advocate P.S. Narasimha, representing Uttar Pradesh, said around 5.50 lakh migrants workers were brought back from Delhi borders through 10,000 bus trips.
The counsel for West Bengal said that around 3.97 lakh migrants are in the state, which is more of a receiving state and it will continue to provide all the support for this purpose.
The Kerala government counsel said that around 4.34 lakh migrants were there and more than 1 lakh have been sent back. Out of the remaining 2.81 lakh, 1.61 lakh do not wish to leave, added the counsel.
Karnataka government counsel said that from May 3, the state has received more than 3 lakh migrant workers and within 15 days they will facilitate transportation of the rest.
The top court has reserved the order, which it will pronounce on Tuesday.
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