The government has told the Supreme Court that there is no migrant worker on the road, a day after the SC sought a status report from the Centre on the measures taken to prevent the exodus in the wake of 21-day lockdown.
As of 11 am this [Tuesday] morning, no one is on the road and they [migrant workers] have been taken to the nearest available shelter, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday as the court heard the matter over the situation due to coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Mehta also told the court that around 23 lakh have been provided food, which includes migrants and daily wagers. Those who were still on the road trying to make it to their native villages have been moved to shelters, the government said.
The Centre also added that they were considering counselling to address the panic due to coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the government to rope in community and religious leaders to speak to people and provide those without a roof a shelter within 24 hours.
The SC also told the government to send trained counsellors to speak to migrant workers to ensure that there is no panic and proper information is provided to them.
The nationwide lockdown sparked the exodus of hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers who undertook long journeys from major urban cities on foot to their native places in last five days, threatening to overturn the benefits of the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed over 34,500 lives globally and infected over 7.27 lakh.
The SC had on Monday taken note of the large-scale movement of migrant workers from cities to their native places on foot after the coronavirus lockdown, and said that fear and panic was a “bigger problem than the virus”.
Hearing two separate PILs which sought relief, including food, water, medicines, and proper medical facilities, for thousands of migrant workers who are rendered homeless and jobless due to the lockdown, a bench of Chief Justice Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao before passing any direction had earlier said, it would like to wait for the status report from the Centre.