AP: HC orders migrant workers be housed urgently in roadside tents and be registered in 8 hours for travel

New Delhi: The Andhra Pradesh High Court recently passed an order issuing a set of guidelines that state governments and the Central government may adopt in order to expedite the movement of migrant workers who wish to go back to their native places in light of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The High Court last week passed an order directing the Andhra Pradesh state administration, Centre and local district officials to make sure that migrant workers wishing to go back to their home states from certain areas of Andhra Pradesh be provided tents and camps wherever they are currently stuck and that their registration to go back home be ensured within 8 hours.

While the order came from a bench of Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari and Justice Lalitha Kanneganti who were hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking for directions to ensure the humane transportation of migrant workers stuck in areas of Krishna, Guntur, Srikakulam and Chittoor on their way back to their home states.

The court's strict guidelines set a framework that might show the way for other states to frame guidelines accordingly to minimise the hardship of these migrant workers.

The HC ordered:

Migrant workers should be provided tents and camps at Toll Plazas and the roadside near the Highways and be facilitated with drinking water and other adequate facilities to shelter them. It also directed officials of other districts to follow similar measures.

A coordination team may be formed for determining the exact location of stranded migrant workers and preparing facilities to provide food to them. The court mandated that the team have members including Red Cross workers, social workers, Paralegal volunteers, village volunteers and one employee each from Departments of Revenue, Police, Health and local administrations.

These migrant workers must be registered to travel to their home states by authorities within a period of 8 hours, with the help of IT services company ACRUX IT Services.

The shifting of these migrant workers if made by buses must be ensured within 48 hours of registration and if made by trains through the Railways must be ensure within 96 hours.

The government should arrange for a team in charge of data entry in every district to register travel for migrant workers. This team must work in two 8-hour shifts (at least 16 hours a day) in order to ensure speedy registration for workers.

The court also directed the counsel representing the Railways Department that it shall abide by the directions issued by the bench-headed by CJ JK Maheshwari, in addition to issuing other specific guidelines on how teams must be formed and monitored to expedite movement of migrant workers.

Next Story
Share it