Railways has informed Delhi High Court that as and when a request is received from any State Government, necessary trains would be provided for transporting migrant workers who wished to return to their native places.
The statement was made before a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar. The Court was hearing a petition by National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour.
Advocate Anupradha Singh appeared for the Petitioner. Advocate Rishikesh represented GNCTD.Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia with Advocate Abhigyan Siddhant appeared for Centre.Railways was represented by Standing Counsel Jagjit Singh.
The Petitioner suggested that there was a need for appointment of Nodal Officers in each district of Delhi for the same.In response to the Petition, the Central Government submitted that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding movement of stranded migrant workers had already been issued by it.
The Delhi Government submitted that Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Government of NCT of Delhi had been appointed as State Nodal Officer and all the District Magistrates in Delhi were the Nodal Officers of their respective districts.
It was further submitted that their names and contact details were available on the website of the Delhi Government as well as at all the relief centres where the stranded migrant workers were staying.
It thus decided to accept the registration of the workers whose names were annexed in the petition.
The Railways submitted,
More than 800 trains had already departed to take around 10 lakh migrant workers to their native places .”As and when such request will be received from any State, they are ready to provide the necessary trains”.
As restoration of helpline number and availability of Nodal Officers was concerned, the Court ordered,
“.. we direct the respondent No.1 (Delhi Government) to ensure the uninterrupted working of their helpline number so that people may approach the Nodal Officers through the helpline numbers. The very purpose of helpline number is to help the people and, therefore, the same must be functional..We also expect from respondent No.1 that the Nodal Officers shall remain easily available to the migrant workers so that after the online registration, the follow up action in accordance with the SOP for their movement to native places be taken.”
The petition was accordingly disposed of.