The Supreme Court on Tuesday mandated states and union territories to adopt the "one nation, one ration card" programme until July 31, while also requesting that the Centre supply dry rations for free distribution to migrant workers as long as the COVID-19 scenario persists.
A bench of justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah issued a slew of directives in response to a petition filed by three activists seeking directives to the Centre and states to ensure food security, cash transfers, and other welfare measures for migrant workers who faced distress during the second wave of COVID-19 due to curfews and lockdowns in various parts of the country.
By July 31, the bench asked the Centre to create a site with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for the registration of unorganised sector employees in order to offer them the benefits of welfare schemes.
It also directed the states, UTs to run community kitchens for migrant workers till the pandemic situation continues in respective states.
It asked the Centre to keep allocating food grains to the states, UTs for distribution among migrant workers for free till the pandemic situation exists.
Activists Anjali Bharadwaj, Harsh Mander and Jagdeep Chhokar had filed a plea seeking implementation of welfare measures for migrant workers.
(With inputs from PTI)