Uttar Pradesh, which is expecting an influx of over a million stranded workers in the coming weeks, has topped the chart with 215 ‘Shramik Special’ trains ferrying about 230,000 homebound migrants so far.
While, 215 trains had arrived in the state till Sunday afternoon, 57 more trains carrying an estimated 70,000 migrant workers are expected to arrive tonight or in the wee hours tomorrow.
According to the Indian Railways, the national transporter had till Saturday afternoon operated more than 300 special trains since May 1, ferrying over 300,000 migrants stuck in various states following the Covid-19 lockdown in March.
Thus, UP has accounted for over 50 per cent of the special trains and labourers evacuated so far in the country. On an average, each train has the capacity to transport 1,200 persons.
“We have given the permission for plying 200 more trains, which are scheduled to come over the next 2-3 days,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said here this evening.
He informed that most of these trains had originated from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka, with the state now arranging for bringing in trains from Rajasthan as well.
Besides, the Adityanath government has also been evacuating the UP's migrant labourers by buses, especially from the neighbouring states of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand etc.
The state has deployed a fleet of 10,000 roadways buses at different places to take these labourers to their respective districts on their arrival at different railway stations. After medical screening, they are sent to for the mandatory 21-day home quarantine, with the local vigilance committee keeping tabs on them.
Chairing a review meeting in Lucknow, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to make arrangements for the safe and speedy return of migrants, apart from maintaining the lockdown and social distancing protocols, and providing free ration kits to the migrants.
Meanwhile, he asked officials to keep an eye in the three hotspot districts of Kanpur, Meerut and Agra. The state has deployed three senior bureaucrats each to monitor the anti-Covid-19 campaign in these places and contain the spread of the pandemic.
Besides, the government has created an electronic covid care support (ECCS) network in the state for mentoring covid hospitals and ensuring proper medical treatment of the coronavirus patients. Under the ECCS network, the covid hospitals will avail of expert medical consultation from three select top level institutions each for the eastern, central and western UP regions.
Currently, the state has 1,884 active covid-19 cases, while 1,504 patients have been discharged after treatment. Currently, the state’s recovery rate is higher at 42 per cent compared to the national average of 30 per cent. The state is looking to double its daily sample testing capacity to 10,000 from less than 5,000 at present.