After Karnataka High Court Order, State Govt. Announces to Fund Train Travel of Outgoing Migrant Labourers
BENGALURU, MAY 23— Day after the Karnataka High Court directed the state government to bear the cost of travel of migrant workers who want to go back home, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday announced to fund their train travel from the state exchequer.
“The government has considered the plea of migrant workers who were unable to bear the travel expenditure to go back to their home towns. The Karnataka government will bear the cost of travel of migrant workers and stranded persons to their respective states by Shramik trains up to May 31, 2020,” Yediyurappa said in a tweet on Friday.
He further said: “The government considers migrant workers, who have come from far flung parts of our country, as our own people and it is my firm belief that they too must be supported by the state.”
On Thursday, a two-Judge Bench of Chief Justice A S Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna had ordered the government to bear the travel cost of the migrant workers. When the state government said it was not in a position to pay for the train fare of outgoing migrant workers, the bench asked the central government if the state government can be permitted to use the funds of National Disaster Response Fund for payment of train fare of migrants.
Since the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24, hundreds and thousands of migrant workers have been moving towards their distant home – many thousands of them on foot. Around 300 of them have been killed in train and road accidents.
From May 1, the central government started running ‘Shramik’ special trains to take the stranded migrant workers to their homes. Several lakhs of them have since been ferried to their home states from different parts of the country.
Earlier this month, the Karnataka government had earned huge criticism when it announced to block the departure of migrant labourers to ensure manpower to industries in the state. Ultimiately, it had to rollback the announcement.