While five trains from Maharashtra and Gujarat carrying thousands of UP origin workers have already arrived, at least 7 trains are en route to UP from the two states. The government plans to run at least 6 trains daily each from the two industrialised states.
Besides, the UP government has written to all the states consenting to accept its labourers provided they had been medically screened and documented for.
Chairing a review meeting here, chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to speed up the process of facilitating the return of the labourers by train and complete the process in the next 10-15 days.
“Since, a large number of our labourers are arriving now, the CM has ordered for appointing senior officials for each district to coordinate their proper arrival and quarantine,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the media this evening.
He informed that 5 trains from Ahmedabad, Baroda, Sabarmati etc in Gujarat and 2 trains from Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra were on their way to UP. “We are also coordinating with the state governments in Punjab, Karnataka and Kerala for facilitating the return of our labourers.”
Awasthi said over the past few days, more than 50,000 labourers and students from Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand etc had returned by bus and trains, who were later ferried to their respective districts for free.
While, nearly half a million labourers had returned to UP following the lockdown 1.0 in March, the Adityanath government has estimated that more than a million labourers will come back in the next 2 months.
In view of the coronavirus, the government is making arrangements for accommodating a million people at the state quarantine centres and announced to convert colleges into temporary shelter homes. Besides, the state is planning to increase the capacity of covid hospital and hospital beds to accommodate 100,000 patients/suspected cases.
Recently, Adityanath had written to his counterparts in other states seeking cooperation in bringing back these labourers. The letters have been sent to the CMs of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi and Rajasthan.
All the labourers arriving in UP are mandated to have served 14 day quarantine in the respective states.
The CM has also directed for creating employment opportunities, especially in the rural areas, for almost 2 million people.
Meanwhile, he directed officials for looking at alternative revenue sources to shore up the coffers in the backdrop of massive dip in earnings owing to lockdown, apart from expending on the monthly payouts to nearly 2.8 million staffers and pensioners, estimated at nearly Rs 15,000 crore.