The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to draw a definite plan to rehabilitate the migrant workers, who returned to the state after being rendered jobless during pandemic COVID-19 outbreak. It also expressed dissatisfaction over the information provided by the state government about the steps it has taken for these labourers.
A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice V K Shukla gave the direction on Friday. ”We are not satisfied by the chart produced by the state and its functionaries. Instead, they are required to draw out a definite plan to rehabilitate these migrated labourers so that they can earn livelihood in their home state,” the court said in its order.
”Let the needful be done by the next date (of hearing) along with the status report qua other facilities that are being extended to the labourers, who have been identified for extending benefits under respective schemes,” it said. The court’s direction came after a social organisation raised objection to the way the government filed a reply to its petition, the petitioner’s counsel Shanno S Khan counsel said.
The government’s reply carried only a chart and some information, but there were no details about the nature of job provided to the labourers, who are natives of Madhya Pradesh, and returned home during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, she added. The government’s reply stated that there are about 7,40,440 migrant labourers registered during the pandemic and employment was given to 44,634 of them, the counsel said.
”There are no details about various welfare schemes meant for the labourers, including provision of loan under Centre/state schemes and how many labourers got benefit of MNREGA,” Khan added. Social organisation Bandhua Mukti Morcha had filed the petition seeking direction to the state government to grant relief to the labourers, who returned to MP from other states during the pandemic.
The court has fixed the next date of hearing for January 18, 2020.