Huge gaps in migrant data submitted by states to labour ministry, Supreme Court

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NEW DELHI: There is massive incongruence in the migrants-related information that state governments have submitted in

Supreme Court

and the data that they have shared with the Union labour ministry, the nodal ministry of data keeping of migrant workers.
Even though Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told court close to one crore


had returned home on trains and by road until June 3,

the labour ministry

, on June 2, released

migrant data

about only 26.17 lakh migrants from across states.
Uttar Pradesh, for instance, in its detailed response to the apex court’s May 28 order, told Supreme Court that 25 lakh workers have “successfully and safely returned to their homes in the state”. In contrast, on June 2, the labour ministry’s state-wise migrants information — released following a rap by

the Central Information Commission

(CIC) — indicated that UP had 36,421 migrant workers and 4019 shelter homes and relief camps. UP also claimed it has “ no migrant left in the state of Uttar Pradesh” and that all incoming workers were sent for 15 days home quarantine, given one ration kit and Rs 1000 in cash. It also said several institutions have proposed to provide jobs to 11 lakh migrant workers in their industrial units.
Bihar, which supplied information about only 7,719 migrant workers to the labour ministry at the start of June, told the apex court that 28 lakh migrant workers have returned to Bihar by train and road transport.
Rajasthan submitted in court that about 13.6 lakh migrant labourers returned to the state, but reported only 92,883 to the labour ministry, while Gujarat claimed it has sent 20 lakh migrant workers and paid them Rs 1000 each, but informed the labour ministry about only 47,566 migrants and 8182 shelter homes and relief camps.
Maharashtra, though it ranked third in posting the maximum information about migrant workers to the nodal ministry, told court it sent home 12 lakh migrant workers, but submitted information about only 3.82 lakh migrants.
Similarly, Delhi said it sent back 3 lakh migrants but reported the presence of only 20,783, while West Bengal said it was waiting to “receive” 6.82 lakh migrants to Bengal. In its submission to the ministry, Bengal had said it had 1867 migrants and 16 shelter homes and relief camps.
Kerala and Karnataka are the only two states that appear to not have under reported the number of migrants. While Kerala told Supreme Court it had sent back 1.53 lakh migrants and was waiting to send back an additional 1.2 lakh migrants, labour ministry data on migrants workers in Kerala corresponds almost exactly with the state’s submission of 2.87 lakh migrants. Karnataka, on the other hand, told SC it was waiting to send back “less than 1 lakh” migrant workers to their native states. According to the ministry, the state had 88,852 migrants as on June 2.
Despite the CIC’s prodding, the labour commissioner has not updated migrants’ information since June 2. On Monday, however, the chief labour commissioner issued a clarification that the data relating to the migrant workers across country was based on information supplied by concerned states and UTs.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, directed states and UTs on June 9 to ensure all migrants reach their home states in 15 days, and that their information is registered and skills mapped.

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