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UP govt use Disaster Relief Fund to pay for migrants' rail tickets

The state is arranging for trains to evacuate workers from Delhi, will make advance payment to facilitate speedy homecoming

migrant workers | Disaster management | Railway ticket price

Vrendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Migrants flout social distancing norms as they gather outside a registration camp to travel back to their native places, during the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, in Jalandhar. Photo: PTI
Migrants flout social distancing norms as they gather outside a registration camp to travel back to their native places, during the ongoing Covid-19 nationwide lockdown, in Jalandhar. Photo: PTI

Amid the large influx of stranded labourers by special trains, the today announced to pay for the rail tickets of migrants.

Chairing a review meeting here, chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to communicate to the Indian and the other states that the UP government is ready to make advance payment to facilitate the speedy homecoming of migrant labourers.

“The state government will use the Disaster Relief Fund to pay for the train fare of migrant workers,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said here this evening.

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Meanwhile, the state has also arranged for plying special trains from Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) to ferry stranded labourers.

“We are coordinating with the Delhi government to run 4 trains daily from Delhi for the purpose,” he said adding the service is likely to start from tomorrow.

Besides, special trains will be launched from Ghaziabad, Noida and Saharanpur to evacuate workers, who are stuck in Delhi and Haryana, to their respective destinations in UP and Bihar.

So far, 318 trains have come to UP carrying nearly 400,000 workers from other states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan etc.

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Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra account for the maximum flight of migrants to UP with 284 trains carrying more than 300,000 labourers coming from these 3 states, with Gujarat alone sending 174 ‘Shramik Special’ trains.

“We have already approved 174 new trains to bring back our workers from other states,” Awasthi informed.

The state has urged the migrants not to venture on foot or resort to unauthorised means in their desperation to come back, and to return only through the institutional channels of state run trains and buses.

Meanwhile, the CM has directed officials to leverage the special economic package announced by the Centre to boost the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector for the promotion of the state’s industries.

“The CM has welcome the relief package and instructed the concerned state departments to take urgent steps to enable the MSME sector in UP to avail of these benefits and to create fresh job opportunities,” Awasthi underlined.

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Adityanath has stressed on boosting pool testing, especially in the wake of the heavy influx of migrants across the state and the reports of a few covid-19 positive cases coming to light.

To curb the spread of the infection, the state has mandated every person to wear a mask or cover the face with homemade masks. The police have been empowered to levy fine on such violation.

Besides, the CM has asked for taking strict action against fake on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok etc. So far, UP Police have filed 40 FIRs in this regard and the probe is on in 135 cases.

First Published: Thu, May 14 2020. 17:00 IST