Hearing a public interest litigation, taken up by the Bombay High Court suo motu in April this year, the HC on Wednesday demanded factual details from the Maharashtra government on the exact number of persons who migrated to Mumbai and neighbouring districts from drought-hit areas of the state.
The high court asked the state government what steps it had taken to help and rehabilitate such 'drought refugees'. A division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice MS Sonak directed the government to submit the details on 10 June.
A bench headed by Chief Justice DH Waghela in April this year had taken cognisance of a news report on the plight of drought refugees who had migrated from Nanded to Mumbai. The affected people, according to the report, had no access to food and drinking water, and had no means to secure a roof over their heads in the city.
Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani also informed the court that shelter and other facilities have been provided to some drought refugees. The bench said they will require actual details. "Give us data in respect of even one family. We would like to ensure in future such thing does not happen. Even a single instance we'll look into it," said Justice Kanade adding that the bench needed factual data to pass directions.
The state government had earlier said that it does not know the exact number of people who have migrated to Mumbai and adjoining areas from the drought-affected districts. The high court also asked the government pleader to inform the court on the number of people who have been displaced and how many of them were provided shelter.
The matter was adjourned till 10 June.