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A worker wearing protective gear cleans a hotel corridor before its reopening next week, after some restrictions were lifted during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kolkata, India, June 5, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Friday that it is considering to grant 15 days to the state governments and the Centre to transport all the stranded migrant workers to their respective native places.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah, while conducting a hearing on the problems faced by the migrant workers, told the counsels of the state governments that it is considering to grant 15 days to transport all the migrant workers to their home states.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the top court that till date, more than 4,000 Shramik Special trains have been deployed to transport migrant workers. The counsels from various state governments appeared before the apex court and submitted their respective plans on the transportation of the migrant workers.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for Delhi government, said that around 200,000 workers are still in the national capital, most of whom are not willing to go back.

“Only a small number of workers, less than 10,000, are expressing their desire to go back,” said Jain.

Senior advocate P.S. Narasimha, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, said that at no point of time the state has charged from the labourers. Instead, it is the obligation of the state to send back the migrants and 104 special trains were organised to send back around 135,000 people.

He added that from Delhi borders, 550,000 labourers were brought back to Uttar Pradesh and as many as 21.69 lakh workers have been brought back to the state in special trains.