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HC asks railways to waive one-way ticket charges of migrants

HC asks railways to waive one-way ticket charges of migrants
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530
Ahmedabad, May 24 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court has

directed the railway authorities to waive one-way train ticket

charges of migrant workers, or the state government should

bear the cost as an alternative arrangement.

It said the government''s response to a PIL seeking the

court''s direction for free transportation of migrant workers

stranded due to the lockdown reflects that travel charges

levied by the railway authorities are borne by a few host

states, NGOs, employers, voluntary associations, and "this is

not done".

"We direct the railway authorities to waive one-way

charges of these migrant labourers or in the alternative, for

the state government to bear such charges," a division bench

of Justices J B Pardiwala and I J Vora said on Friday.

The court''s order came after the Vijay Rupani

government said in a written reply that out of 22.5 lakh

migrant workers in Gujarat, only 7,512 were registered under

the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act and they were thus,

eligible for travel allowance.

"The state government shall ensure that migrant

workers do not have to face further difficulties for the

purpose of travelling to their native places. The work in this

regard shall continue in the right direction," the court said

in an order.

The state government told the court that nearly 22.5

lakh inter-state migrant workers lived in Gujarat, as per the

state labour department''s data. But, provisions of the Inter-

State Migrant Workmen Act were applicable to only 7,512

workers who were registered under it.

"Most of the 22.5 lakh migrant workers have come on

their own and provisions for payment of travel and

displacement allowances, as required under Sections 14 and 15

of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, were not applicable to

them," it said..

Under sections 14 and 15 of the Act, contractors are

required to pay travel and displacement allowances to workers.

The state government told the court that the Railways

had been collecting transportation charges from workers even

though travel arrangements were being made at the district-

level by NGOs and civil society organisations.

States, including Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil

Nadu, have said they would reimburse travel expenses to the

Railways directly, it said.

"No migrant worker has been denied travel to his

hometown on account of non-payment of travel charges," the

Gujarat government claimed.

Following the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, over 11

lakh migrant workers have so far left from Gujarat for their

native places by Shramik Special trains. PTI KAPD

GK GK


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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