The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) informed the Bombay High Court on Friday that migrant workers want to stay back in Maharashtra and not return to their home towns as economic activity is resuming with the gradual lifting of lockdown measures.
The CITU had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking relief measures to alleviate the plight of migrant workers stranded in the State amid the COVID-19-induced lockdown. Senior advocate Gayatri Singh told a Division Bench of Justices A.A. Sayed and Nitin Borkar on Friday the CITU now wishes to withdraw its PIL.
Ms. Singh said many migrants opted to return to their native places after the lockdown was imposed in the State, but the remaining workers do want to return home owing to the lifting of lockdown measures.
The court allowed the CITU to withdraw its PIL and granted it liberty to approach the Labour Commissioner if any difficulty arises with regard to online registration of migrant workers.
On August 5, Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the High Court that the Maharashtra government incurred a loss of ₹42 lakh as not enough migrant workers boarded the special trains that were operated to transport them to their home towns. He said 4,969 migrant workers did not board the trains. He said six trains were arranged between July 16 and 31 for 8,520 migrants and the State had paid ₹69 lakh to the Railways. However, only 3,551 people boarded the trains.
Mr. Kumbhakoni said now the workers want to stay put and those who left for their home towns are planning to come back. He said over 12 lakh migrant workers have returned to the State through 842 trains so far.