Taking unprecedented steps to address migrant crisis, Centre tells SC

Solicitor General assures bench that the Centre will not stop its efforts until every willing migrant is sent to his/her village

Published: 29th May 2020 08:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2020 08:53 AM   |  A+A-

Migrants, who have arrived from Mumbai, wait to board buses to reach their native place in Prayagraj | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday justified its position before the Supreme Court by enumerating the number of steps it has taken for the migrant workers so that they reach their home conveniently.Termed the situation as unprecedented crisis, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that till May 27, around 91 lakh migrant workers had been transported to their native states since special trains started on May 1.

“We are immensely grateful to the Supreme Court for taking cognisance of the issue. Due to this, states and Centre have an August forum now to discuss the migrant crisis issue. Some unfortunate things have happened and it is being flashed again and again,” Mehta told the bench while referring to the recent deaths of workers which were reported while travelling.

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At this bench said, “We are not disputing the fact that Centre has not taken steps. But whoever needs help is not getting help. States are not doing their bit.”However, Sibal, Jaising and Gonsalves contradicted him saying the way migrant workers were being sent back to their native states it would take several months to complete the process.

Mehta assured the bench that the government will not stop its efforts until every willing migrant labourer is sent to his village. He also criticized some of the intervenors in the case and said, “We have something called prophets of doom who only spread negativity. All these people writing on social media, giving interviews cannot even acknowledge what is being done.”

Mehta said, “People are working tirelessly. From the safai karamcharis to the PM. State governments and ministers are working over night. None of these people acknowledge that.”

“Centre is doing a lot to prevent COVID-19 but there are prophets of doom in our country who only spread negativity, negativity, negativity. These arm chair intellectuals do not recognize the nation’s effort,” Mehta told the bench. He went on to cite a Pulitzer-winning photograph of a vulture waiting for a panic-stricken child to die, taken in Sudan in 1983. Mehta also accused HCs of running parallel governments.

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