New Delhi [India], June 17 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi government to prepare a chart related to schedule for train and bus services and inform migrant labourers at Azadpur Mandi here, who want to return to their native places.
A Division Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said the Delhi government has to prepare the chart in advance, along with the date and time of departure of the train or buses, so that the migrants can be informed well in advance.
The bench also directed that government to set up a helpdesk 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 who are in need of ready meals.
The court's direction came after it was informed that 686 labourers, who had registered at the helpdesk, wish to return to their native places.
The bench said that orders in this regard have already been passed by the Supreme Court and ought to be complied with by the Delhi Govt in letter and spirit.
"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 Inter-State buses or trains for heading to their native places," the court said adding that an exercise shall be undertaken by the Delhi government for the purpose, in collaboration with the DSLSA.
Meanwhile, an affidavit was filed by SDM, Model Town stating inter alia that an exercise was undertaken to identify the number of labourers, stranded in Azadpur Mandi and needed two square meals a day and shelter.
As per the report, a total of 882 labourers had got registered at the helpdesk. Out of these, 849 labourers gave their permanent residential address as outside of Delhi and the remaining 33 did not disclose their place of residence. Most of them are stated to be living in rented accommodations in nearby areas. About 143 labourers have stated that they are staying within the Azadpur Mandi premises, either in Mandi sheds or in the shops of local traders.
Further, 446 labourers have stated that they were taking ready meals from the Hunger Relief Centre at Hira Singh Park, set up by the Govt of Delhi, while 436 labourers have stated that they are carrying their food from their homes and did not have to go to Hunger Relief Centres. Further, 686 labourers expressed their desire to return to their native places.
Advocate Sumit Rana, counsel for the petitioner stated that as the helpdesk was operating from 10 AM to 6 PM, many of the labourers who return to the Mandi only after 6 PM, for staying overnight in the Mandi sheds or the shops of the traders, were not present when the help desks were functioning and it would be appropriate if a helpdesk is set up in the evening hours after 6 PM, so that the correct count of those labourers who require the assistance of a shelter set up by the Govt of Delhi, can be identified and directed to avail of the facility.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by The Potato & Union Masakhour Merchant Association through Advocate Sumit Rana, praying for issuing directions to respondents to ensure that about 1000 labourers stranded at Azadpur Mani, Delhi, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period, are provided two square meals in a day, till normalcy is restored in the Mandi.
The petitioner also sought direction to concerned authority to relocate the stranded workers to a Makeshift Shelter Home within or around Azadpur Mandi. (ANI)