Amid the heavy influx of stranded labourers in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has said it will pay Rs 26 crore to the Indian Railways for the plying of ‘Shramik Special’ trains to bring back these migrants from other states.
While, Rs 6 crore has already been given to the Railways, additional Rs 20 crore will be paid tomorrow, UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said here this evening. Recently, the state had announced to incur the rail fare of the incoming workers.
So far, 522 trains carrying nearly 665,000 labourers have arrived in UP from states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa etc. Of these, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab account for the maximum number of train arrivals.
Meanwhile, the state has approved the arrival of 250 more trains in the next 2-3 days. Yesterday, a record number of about 150,000 labourers returned to UP onboard 87 trains.
“We have now requested the Railway Board chairman to operate short distance trains within UP to ferry our workers from one place to another,’ he informed. The state is planning facilitate the operation of intrastate trains from Agra, Ghaziabad, Jhansi, Mathura, Meerut, Saharanpur, Noida, Mahoba etc.
“The state government has urged the authorities in other states to dissuade workers from venturing on foot or other unsafe means to return. The UP government is arranging for the largest service of trains and buses to bring our workers back,” Awasthi added.
The state has also deployed a fleet of more than 10,000 buses to take the incoming migrant workers to their native districts and places.
Chairing a review meeting here, chief minister Adityanath asked the district magistrates to acquire over 200 buses of private schools against standard rentals for migrants.
In the backdrop of the rising number of road accidents of migrants travelling by unauthorised vehicles, the government has now strictly enforced the protocol of disallowing such un safe travel.
The authorities and police have been directed to disembark such labourers and after proper medical screening, arrange for their proper travel to their respective places by buses.
Meanwhile, the covid-19 infection load in UP is also increasing with the heavy influx of stranded workers from other states. To curb the spread of the disease, the government is strengthening the pool testing and community surveillance to track suspect cases for isolation.
The government has planned to ramp up the availability of Covid-19 beds to 100,000 in 2-3 days from about 55,000 at present across UP.
In fact, more than 1.65 million migrants have returned to UP by trains, buses and other means after the lockdown was announced in March 2020. Of these, nearly 650,000 labourers had returned between March 1 and April 30 via the Delhi border.