Provide shelter to 2,000 living on footpaths in Majestic area: HC

At least 2,000 migrants and homeless are living on the footpaths in groups in Majestic area without any shelter and toilets or drinking water, the High Court of Karnataka was informed on Tuesday.

The Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA), which had conducted a random visit to Majestic locality to assess the situation, brought out this aspect along with video footage of those living on footpaths sans shelter despite specific direction from the Centre to provide temporary shelters to migrants and others during the lockdown.

The KSLSA submitted this information before a special Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice B.V. Nagarathna during the hearing of PIL petitions on issues cropped up due to enforcement of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Advocate B.V. Vidyulatha, appearing for KSLSA, pointed out that these persons, who were mainly working in small eateries in Majestic areas or as security guards before the lockdown, have no shelter nor any toilet facility. However, they were being provided with food to some extent by the government and NGOs. They are living and sleeping in groups contrary to the mandate of social distancing, Ms. Vidyulatha said.

Taking note of this, the Bench directed the government to issue instructions to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and other urban local authorities to identity such migrant, homeless and stranded persons, and provide them shelters with toilet, food and water facilities.

The Bench also asked the government to consider the suggestion made by the KSLSA to provide shelter to such persons in schools and community halls run by the BBMP and other local bodies, or at bus stands or railway stations in the city as these buildings have toilets.

Relief camps

Meanwhile, the Bench directed the government to provide toilet and drinking water facilities at relief camps while pointing out that mere setting up of relief camps would not suffice. The KSLSA has pointed out in its report that toilet and water was not available at relief camps set up for migrant labourers in Mysuru. The court had earlier asked District Legal Services Authorities to inspect some of the 200 relief camps set up by the government across the State for migrant labourers during the period.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 4:58:46 AM |

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