‘Arrange travel services for mandi migrants’

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the city government to prepare a chart of schedule for train or bus services which will be used to help migrant labourers, stranded at Azadpur Mandi here, to take them to their respective States.

A Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the Delhi government has to prepare the chart in advance, alongwith the date and time of departure of the train or buses, so that the migrants can be informed well in advance.

“It is not expected that 686 labourers should land up together at the inter-State bus terminals or at the railway stations and continue waiting there to board buses or trains for heading to their hometowns,” the Bench remarked.

Set up help desk

The Bench also directed that a help desk shall be set up at Azadpur Mandi at the earliest, so that shelter can be offered to those labourers, who are still spending the night in the open at the mandi or are in need of ready meals.

The High Court’s direction came while hearing a PIL by the Potato and Onion Masakhour Merchant Association to ensure that about 1,000 labourers stranded at Azadpur Mandi, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period, are provided two square meals in a day, till normalcy is restored.

As per a survey exercise conducted pursuant to an order of the court, there are a total of 882 labourers who had registered themselves at the help desk. Of them, about 365 are not traceable, thus, leaving 517 labourers. Out of the said 517 labourers, only 44 were getting foods from their homes while the remaining 473 are stated to be approaching the relief centres for collecting meals, the HC was informed.

The High Court was also informed that 686 labourers, who had registered at the help desk, wish to return to their native places. Delhi government’s counsel sought time to take instruction on the issue, as the court posted the case for further hearing on June 24.

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