NEW DELHI: The responsibility of the movement of stranded migrant workers is now with states, the centre said on Friday.
The Union Home Ministry also asked the states, once again, to ensure that migrants do not walk on the roads and on railway tracks to reach their home states.
"It is now the responsibility of all states and union territories to ensure that movement of stranded migrant workers who are willing to go to their home states is facilitated," Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said.
He wrote to the states and Union Territories asking them to provide food, shelter, counselling to migrant workers if they are found walking on roads and railways tracks. And also facilitate migrants to take "shramik" trains or special buses being run by the government for reaching their native states.
The centre’s communication came hours after the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea on the plight of migrant workers walking home saying that it was not possible for courts to monitor or stop their movement. "How can we stop it?" the top court asked, saying states should take necessary action in the matter.
In his letter, Bhalla also referred to an earlier communication of May 11 by the centre on the same issue and said despite asking the states to ensure there is no movement by foot, movement of migrant workers on roads, railway tracks and in trucks is still being noticed in different parts of the country.
"States/UTs should widely disseminate the arrangements for travel in special buses/‘Shramik' special trains amongst the migrant workers and persuade/ counsel them that they should not be walking when they can travel in buses/ trains," the letter said.
The home secretary said with the cooperation of states and union territories, the Ministry of Railways is running more than 100 Shramik Special trains per day and is ready to arrange additional trains as per their requirement.
"Therefore, I urge you to ensure that there is no movement of migrant workers walking on roads and railway tracks and the same is facilitated through special buses or Shramik Special trains," Bhalla said, in a letter sent all chief secretaries.