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Maharashtra should take steps to send back stuck migrants: Supreme Court



Supreme Court

The Supreme Court said on Friday that the Maharashtra government should take steps to ensure that migrant workers still waiting to return to their native places are sent back at an early date.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah had in a June 9 order directed all states/UTs to transport all stranded workers by trains or other modes of transportation to their native places within 15 days.

“It appears that in spite of the steps taken by states, including Maharashtra, migrant workers are still stranded in different States, including Maharashtra,” said the apex court.

The bench cited an affidavit filed by Rajesh Kumar, Additional Chief secretary (Labour) from the Industries, Energy and Labour Department of Maharashtra government, that indicated that some migrants are still awaiting return to their native places from Maharashtra.

The top court observed that the affidavit cites figures in different districts. “In paragraph 13 (of the affidavit), reply has been given with regard to the list of 52,514 migrant labourers; it has been stated that after verification, it has been found that only 1,137 migrant workers were ready and willing to return to their native places,” the bench noted.

The court said a substantial number of migrant labourers have already reached their native places. “The affidavit further states that in the event any complaints are received from migrant workers by trade unions, NGOs and other local organisation, the same should be shared with the state administration, which shall be attended to promptly. The affidavit further states that online registration process for Shramik trains stands resumed,” the top court said.

The bench pointed out that none of the states/Union Territories had filed any affidavit to bring on record the mode of and manner in which records of migrants labourers — who have reached their native places — are being maintained in accordance with their skills, nature of employment and other details.

The court noted that on June 9 the top court had issued specific directions. “The details of all migrant labourers, who have reached their native places, shall be maintained, with details of their skills, nature of employment, earlier place of employment. The list of migrant labourers shall be maintained village-, block-and district-wise to facilitate the administration to extend benefits of different schemes which may be applicable to such migrant workers,” said the top court.

The bench observed that the states/UTs should have maintained a record of all migrant workers, who have gone back to different places.

The top court asked the states/UTs to file necessary affidavits within three weeks and ordered for the matter to be taken up after four weeks.

The court observation came in a suo motu case regarding the problems and miseries of migrant workers in the backdrop of the nationwide lockdown to contain Covid-19.

Source: IANS


Lok Sabha passes Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020



Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 that looks to reorient the governance model in central ports to landlord model, whereby port infrastructure is leased to private operators.

The bill aims at decentralizing decision making and to infuse professionalism in governance of major ports. The landlord model of port operation is widely followed globally.

Of the 204 ports in the country, 12 are major ports, including Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT and Cochin.

“I am introducing the major port authorities bill with the vision to make major ports competent and improve their efficiencies,” shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in the Parliament.

The bill is expected to help impart faster and transparent decision making benefiting the stakeholders and better project execution capability.

The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been redefined in the bill. The port authority has now been given powers to fix tariffs which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects. PPP operators will be free to fix tariffs based on market conditions.

The Board of each major port shall be entitled to create a specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure established or proposed to be established within the port limits and such master plan shall be independent of any local or state government regulations of any authority whatsoever.

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Rajnath to open 43 bridges in 7 states, launch Tawang tunnel work



Rajnath Singh

Guwahati, Sep 24 : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will on Thursday inaugurate, via video conferencing, 43 bridges in seven border states and Union Territories and lay the foundation of an important tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, a defence official said on Wednesday.

Defence spokesman, Lt Col Harsh Wardhan Pande said of the 43 bridges constructed by the Border Roads Organisation, 10 are in Jammu and Kashmir, eight each in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, seven in Ladakh, four each in Punjab and Sikkim, and two in Himachal Pradesh.

The Defence Minister would also lay the foundation stone of Nechiphu tunnel to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The tunnel is expected to shorten the travel time to Tawang, 448 km northwest of state capital Itanagar and bordering China.

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Naidu’s warning ahead of Rajya Sabha’s adjournment sine die




Rajya Sabha VP Naidu

New Delhi, Sep 24 : Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, in his valedictory remarks ahead of the house being adjourned sine die on Wednesday, made some serious observations about Sunday’s ruckus in the Rajya Sabha that got eight MPs suspended.

“For the first time in this history of this august House, a notice of motion for removal of the Hon’ble Deputy Chairman has been given. It had to be rejected for the reasons I have elaborated while doing so,” Naidu said, calling the “developments” “unprecedented” and “painful”.

“I don’t want to go into details of those unpleasant turn of events. All that I like to do is to appeal to all of you from the depth of my heart to kindly ensure that such unseemly behavior is not repeated,” he urged.

Calling the ruckus “unpalatable”, he reminded: “To protest is the right of the opposition. But the question is how should it be done?”

“But if boycott is done for a longer period, it amounts to leaving the very platform that enables you to effectively convey your ideas and contesting those of others. I request all members to keep this in mind.”

However, there were high points too. Naidu said that 25 Bills have been passed and six Bills have been introduced in this very short span of time in the upper house.

The productivity of the house during this session has been 100.47 per cent, he informed.

“(As much as) 22 hours 3 minutes time has been spent on discussing the government’s legislative proposals during these 10 sittings. This comes to a record 57 per cent of the total functional time of the House during this session,” an otherwise upset Naidu said with visible happiness.

Meanwhile, 1,567 unstarred questions were replied to in writing by the government during these 10 sittings.

Members also raised issues of urgent public importance through 92 Zero Hour and 66 Special Mentions.

Both houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on Wednesday — eight days before their scheduled end on October 1 — due to increasing Covid-19 cases.

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