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No need for Shramik Special trains, state is witnessing reverse migration: Bombay HC

The Bombay HC has directed the state to file an affidavit detailing the number of trains that were used to ferry migrant workers, number of workers who boarded the trains and the cost that was incurred by the state.

No need for Shramik Special trains, state is witnessing reverse migration: Bombay HC
SHARES

The Bombay High Court has directed the state of Maharashtra to file an affidavit detailing the number of trains that were used to ferry migrant workers, number of these workers who boarded the trains and the cost that was incurred by the state since July 11.

This came after a petition was filed which demanded more trains to be arranged. The Bombay HC responded stating that the state was currently witnessing a reverse migration of the workers returning back to the city, therefore, the abovementioned details are to be submitted before the court.

According to reports, the Railways has spent ₹2,142 crores on running the Shramik Special trains for ferrying stranded migrant workers home during the coronavirus induced lockdown but earned a revenue of just ₹429 crores.

The highest amount of money ₹102 crores was paid by the Gujarat government as it ferried more than 15 lakh migrant workers back to their native states in 1,027 trains. It was followed by Maharashtra, which paid ₹85 crores in order to ferry 12 lakh workers back in 844 trains.

The HC also stated that since the states were also not permitting the workers to return back, the state should first consult with the receiving state, only if they agree should the state arrange for the trains to ferry the workers back.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice AS Gadkari heard the public interest litigation filed by Centre for Indian Trade Unions and was further informed by advocate Ronita Bhattacharya Bector that there were more than 13,000 migrant workers who wanted to return back to their home towns in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and other states and hence the Maharashtra government should arrange transportation facilities for them.

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